Gilbert earns third AAA credit rating from major bond agency

The Gilbert Municipal I Building acts as Town Hall and is where the Town Council meets.

The Gilbert Municipal I Building acts as Town Hall and is where the Town Council meets.

Gilbert is now one of fewer than 50 cities in the country to have AAA credit ratings from each of the major bond rating agencies.

Town officials announced July 1 that Standard & Poor’s has upgraded Gilbert to a AAA rating, joining Moody’s Investor Services and Fitch Ratings.

“S&P has traditionally been the hardest of the three top-tier rating agencies to secure that AAA,” said Hakon Johanson, Gilbert's finance and management services director. “That’s reflected in the United States federal government only has a AA+ from S&P right now. We take some pride in being rated higher than the federal government.”

Gilbert had a recent site visit from an S&P team as part of its ratings review, which gave the town a chance to showcase its economic strength, as well as go through the town’s key indicators and financial policies, Johanson said.

The rating will allow Gilbert to pay lower interest rates when it issues bonds for various projects and thus save taxpayers money, Johanson said.

“We're trying to make these wise financial decisions that are going to save millions of dollars in taxpayer revenue and taxpayer funds because we're able to borrow at the lowest possible rates,” Johanson said. “[We can put] those funds that the voters approve into the projects rather than going to banks or other lending institutions.”
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.