The State Treasurer announced that North Carolina retained a AAA bond rating with all three major national bond rating agencies, noting the state’s strong economy, growing reserves and conservative fiscal management.
State Treasurer Dale Folwell announced the report, highlighting North Carolina’s status as one of only 13 states that have AAA bond ratings from all three major rating agencies.
Folwell said that the ratings were assigned in preparation of the second issuance of voter-approved General Obligation Public Improvement Bonds passed as the Connect NC bond referendum.
The $2 billion in bonds are going to pay for universities, community colleges, local parks, infrastructure and other projects.
The first issuance of funds came in 2016 when $200 million in bonds were issued and the second issuance, expected to be offered July 18, will be for $400 million.
“Having these ‘AAA’ ratings ensures that we can borrow money at the lowest possible rates, which results in the state having more buying power,” Folwell said.“Ultimately, the credit for these ratings goes to the taxpayers of North Carolina and the North Carolina General Assembly for their strong fiscal management.”
Folwell said that the agencies have affirmed the rating with the knowledge that the General Assembly has placed a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that will, if passed, cap the state income tax at 7 percent, dropping the cap from its current top limitation of 10 percent.
The S & P Global rating made a point to mention that S & P did not expect the referendum, if passed, to affect the state bond rating.
The NC Department of State Treasurer’s State and Local Government Finance Division manages the sale and delivery of all state and local debt and monitors the repayment of state and local government debt.