City maintains AA+ credit rating for a fifth year

Guelph, Ont., August 25, 2017 – Yesterday, S&P Global Ratings (S&P) announced the City of Guelph’s credit rating is strong and remains at AA+ with stable outlook.

“This is an independent, third-party confirmation of the City’s solid financial position and practices. It sends a strong signal that our municipal finances are in excellent shape,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie.

“For five years, the City has maintained the AA+ rating which reflects our strong financial position and staff and Council’s commitment to making strategic financial decisions,” says Derrick Thomson, chief administrative officer.

According to S&P, the rating (AA+) reflects Guelph’s “healthy liquidity, robust budgetary performance, and very low debt burden.” The stable outlook reflects the expectation that the City will maintain its   liquidity position, the tax-supported debt burden will remain less than 30 per cent of its operating revenues and the City will generate moderate after-capital surpluses for the next two years.

The credit rating highlights S&P’s view that the City continues to demonstrate strong financial management practices as seen through the development of its detailed and robust annual budget, while maintaining a high degree of budgetary flexibility.

Part of the City’s practice is to maintain a low debt burden, which leads to low borrowing rates when the City needs to take on external debt. By using a pay-as-you-go financing model for some capital projects, the City limits its need for external borrowing.

“In addition to our sound financial policies, the City’s strategic action plan guides our annual budget, which is a realistic plan for our future,” says Tara Baker, city treasurer and general manager of Finance. “Financial planning for an organization of this size takes time and a coordinated effort from staff across the City. This credit rating is a testament to continuous good work.”

The S&P’s website offers further information about Guelph’s credit rating.

For more information on the City’s budget, visit guelph.ca/budget.

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About S&P Global Ratings

S&P Global Ratings is a leader in independent credit risk research and market intelligence including credit ratings, research, and thought leadership. It has offices in 26 countries and more than 150 years of experience.

For more information

Tara Baker
City Treasurer, General Manager of Finance
Corporate Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2084
tara.baker@guelph.ca