Moody's Statement Underscores Garner's Strong Financial Position
In its annual comment on the Town of Garner, Moody's Investors Service said that the Town enjoys "a robust financial position."
"The credit position for Garner is very strong, and its Aa1 rating is higher than the median rating of Aa3 for cities nationwide," the statement said.
Moody's said Garner's strong financial position was stellar even among other Aa1-rated communities.
"The town has a robust financial position, which is slightly favorable when compared to the assigned rating of Aa1," Moody's said. "The fund balance [restricted and unrestricted reserves] as a percent of operating revenues (93.1%) is far stronger than the US median, and did not change from 2013 to 2017. Moreover, Garner's cash balance as a percent of operating revenues (90.7%) is far superior to other Moody's-rated cities nationwide."
The comment, issued on March 20, said notable credit factors in the Town's favor include "affordable debt and pension liabilities, a healthy wealth and income profile and a sizable tax base."
"Garner has a quite healthy economy and tax base," Moody's observed. "The town's full value per capita ($112,574) is slightly above the US median. ... Furthermore, the median family income equates to 103.3% of the US level. Lastly, the total full value [tax base] ($3.3 billion) is stronger than other Moody's-rated cities nationwide."
Last April, Moody's upgraded the rating on the Town ’s outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds from Aa2 to Aa1. The rating boost could help the Town obtain better interest rates and terms for future borrowings and bond issuances.
In March 2013, Garner voters authorized the Town to issue up to $35.716 million in GO bonds. So far, those bonds proceeds have helped to fund a new police station and Town Hall, sidewalk projects in various communities, park improvements and two new dog parks, among other projects.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services upgraded the Town's credit rating from AA to AA+ in late 2013.