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SCOTTSDALE (AZ) $21 MIL GOs RATED 'AA+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Scottsdale, Ariz.'s $21 million general obligation bonds, project of 1989, series D (1993) are rated 'AA+' by Fitch. The bonds are selling competitively Oct. 4. The rating also applies to the city's $109 million outstanding general obligation bonds. The credit trend is stable.
 The rating reflects the city's strong and stable finances, sound planning and management, high income levels, and a vigorous economy based primarily on services and trade and hi-technology manufacturing. However, debt levels are moderately high as a result of growth generated issuance. Despite the heavy issuance required, debt levels are manageable and affordable. Continuation of strong development and growth is anticipated.
 This rapidly growing city is located in Maricopa County, bordering Phoenix and several other cities. Scottsdale's population, now estimated at 155,108, has increased by 86 percent since 1980. The city's growth is primarily attributed to factors contributing to a good quality of life. Income levels are high, with per capita income of $23,482 representing 174 percent of the state average and 163 percent of the national figure. Median household income figures are similarly high. The city's economy has a large trade and services component. Tourism and a second home population continue to play an important role as there are number of major resorts located in the city. Manufacturing is centered in high-technology areas with Motorola Inc. a leading employer. The city's unemployment rates have historically been well below state and national averages.
 Debt levels are moderately high as would be expected with a growing city with large capital needs. Direct debt per capita is $1,603 and overall debt per capita is $2,710. Overall debt in relation to the large market value of property is 4.5 percent. Just over half of the $413 million five-year capital plan is intended to be funded from voter- approved GO bond authorizations, with the remainder derived from current resources and other bond issuance. The capital plan focuses on road improvements, to accommodate existing as well as future population, and water and sewer improvements to address expected future growth. The 10- year amortization rate is slightly above average. The total non- enterprise debt service burden relative to the operating budget is comparatively high.
 Despite rapid budget growth, finances are very strong and stable as a result of sound planning, management, and policies. The city actively seeks citizen participation in addressing important financial and economic issues. The city's revenue base is relatively diverse and well balanced, with property and sales taxes, intergovernmental revenues, and user fees comprising most of the city's recurring resources. Contractual services account for 30 percent of the budget, including the contracting out of fire services. The city reported a $2.4 million operating surplus in fiscal 1992-1993 and the unreserved general fund balance is a large $42.3 million or 53 percent of revenues.
 -0- 9/21/93
 /CONTACT: Stewart Simon of Fitch, 212-908-0508/ CO: ST: Arizona IN: SU: RTG


TM -- NY096 -- 4419 09/21/93 18:19 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 21, 1993
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