Rochester’s High Grade Bond Rating Affirmed By Fitch Ratings Agency

City of Rochester

News Release

(Friday, March 17, 2023) – Mayor Malik D. Evans today announced that Fitch Ratings Agency has affirmed the City of Rochester’s high grade ‘AA-’ credit rating with a stable outlook.

“The City’s responsible financial management has once again proven to work for the people of Rochester,” said Mayor Evans. “The evaluation of the City’s finances is a testament to the excellent work of our financial managers and our commitment to the sound and responsible allocation of our taxpayers’ resources. This rating is an indication that our efforts to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester are working.”

The appraisal follows the recent Standard and Poor’s agency rating that affirmed their own AA- long-term bond rating for Rochester. The City’s high grades results in lower interest rates and signals stability to businesses and investors. Business and investor confidence is vital as the City seeks to draw investment, development, and jobs to Rochester.

The Fitch Agency determined that the City met its spending targets and finished the year below budget. According to Fitch Ratings, “the city ended fiscal 2022 with $12.5 million general fund surplus increasing general fund reserves to $111.5 million, 20.3% of general fund spending and transfers.” The report concluded that the City’s anchor institutions in higher education and healthcare are dependable and provide reliable economic foundations. “Rochester has weathered economic lulls,” said Fitch. “The city assisted many businesses to promote economic development and stability throughout the pandemic and recent period of economic downturn,” without endangering the City’s finances or accumulating unsustainable debt burdens in the process.

Fitch cited “the city’s significant independent revenue raising ability, flat revenue growth prospects, solid expenditure controls and moderate long-term liability” as contributions to the AA- rating. “The rating also reflects the city’s superior gap-closing capacity, which Fitch expects will enable it to maintain sound financial operations throughout economic cycles.” Overall, “the city has built and maintained solid reserves over the course of the recent economic recovery and is well positioned to handle the projected pandemic-related revenue pressures in the near term.”