(JACKSON, Miss.) – On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings affirmed its ‘A+’ long-term rating of the City of Jackson’s general obligation (GO) debt, during a time when most sectors of the nation’s economy received a downgrade due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 17th, S&P Global Economics determined that the global and U.S. economies had fallen into a recession. Shortly thereafter, S&P Global Ratings placed the entire U.S. public finance sector on a negative outlook. Despite this, in their credit rating, S&P deemed that the outlook for the City of Jackson is stable.
In their report, S&P noted that “Following multiple years of negative budgetary results, the city rightsized [its] operations and increased tax rates to stabilize its fiscal position, driving operating surpluses in fiscal years 2016 through 2018.”
The City’s budgetary performance prior to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been strong. Furthermore, S&P’s stable outlook reflects that while the impacts from the COVID-19 shutdowns will have an impact on the FY2020 budget performance, they believe that we will be able to weather this storm by taking the necessary measures to respond to this fluid situation, coupled with the recent improvements that we have made in our fund balance and liquidity.
“Today’s news from S&P demonstrates that the difficult choices that my Administration has made over the past three years have yielded positive results. Despite the uncertain times that we face as a City, and globally, planning and effective fiscal management have prepared us to weather this storm. I would like to applaud my Director of Administration, LaaWanda Horton and her team for all of their hard work to help the City achieve this positive outcome,” said Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.