Gilbert earns third AAA credit rating from major bond agency


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.”

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  1. Good to know, but what would there be any real world impact to Gilbert residencies and small businesses?

  2. If the town is able to finance bonds at a lower rate and/or able to pay off debt more quickly because the interest burden is less, it also is better able to keep its tax rates low.

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Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.
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