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Buffalo bond rating jumps up to "AA-"

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Posted at 11:06 AM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 11:06:54-05

Buffalo has been upgraded.

Fitch Ratings, a global leader in credit ratings and research, bumped the city's "A+" up to "AA-" in its latest rating report. This is the highest rating Buffalo has received from the agency.

The "AA-" is the highest rating the city has ever received, and comes seven months after Buffalo's previous rating of "A+."

"We are thrilled to be in the 'Double A' category with Fitch," said Buffalo Comptroller Mark Schroeder. "This is the first upgrade we have received from Fitch since it started rating the city in 2010."

Standard & Poor's upgraded Buffalo to an "A+" in 2014, and Moody's upgraded the city's rating to "A1" in 2012.

"All three of the major rating agencies have upgraded the city in the brief time that I've been comptroller," said Schroeder, who took office in 2012. "That shows that Wall Street has taken notice of the progress Buffalo has made, both in managing its finances and building its economy."

Schroeder took analysts from Fitch on a tour of the city last year to display Buffalo's economic development projects, and gave analysts from Standard and Poor's and Moody's similar tours in previous years. The tour included the SolarCity site, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Larkinville, Canalside, the outer harbor, and the Buffalo River.

"This exciting improvement to an 'AA-,' the City of Buffalo's highest rating in decades, recognizes my administration's twelve years of prudent fiscal management and disciplined budgeting," said Mayor Byron Brown. "The higher Fitch rating keeps us on a steady financial path that has earned us 'Straight As' from the Big Three bond rating agencies and puts us in a prime position to continue our record pace of economic development."

According to Schroeder, this higher rating will help the city with lower interest rates when he goes to the bond market next spring to finance the city's capital projects - meaning lower interest costs for taxpayers.