(The Center Square) – Georgia again has secured the highest bond rating from all three leading credit rating agencies, Gov. Brian Kemp announced.
Georgia's triple-A ratings will enable the state to sell its bonds with the lowest possible interest rate, saving state taxpayers money. Only nine states have the rating. Kemp credited Georgia's conservative leadership for the accomplishment.
"In a year of unprecedented challenges – working with the General Assembly – we cut taxes, balanced the state's budget, invested in essential services, and avoided draconian budget cuts," Kemp said in a statement. "These decisions resulted in an unemployment rate below the national average and the lowest of the ten most populated states, record job and investment growth, and being named the top state for business for the eighth year in a row. By working together to put hardworking Georgians first, we'll continue to make Georgia the best state to live, work, and raise a family."
The state plans to takes bids for general obligation bonds in early June. The bond sale will fund over $1.1 billion in capital projects. Borrowing money through general obligation bonds allows the state to spread the costs across multiple years instead of tapping into cash flow or current revenue to cover a project's expenses.
Georgia law requires bonds to be used to construct or repair state property and generate loans for local governments or their entities.
Georgia sold more than $1.13 billion in general obligation bonds in August to support school construction and transportation projects, among other things.
"Georgia's 'AAA' Issuer Default Rating (IDR) reflects the state's proven willingness and ability to maintain fiscal balance and a broad-based, growth-oriented economy that supports revenue growth over time," FitchRatings analysts said. "Georgia's long-term liability burden is low, and overall debt management is conservative. The state issues bonds regularly for capital needs and principal amortization is rapid."