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The original item was published from 12/14/2018 1:43:44 PM to 12/18/2019 12:00:07 AM.

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Mayor's Office

Posted on: December 17, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Mayor Lee Harris Announces AA+ Financial Rating for Shelby County


Memphis, TN - Fitch Ratings affirms Shelby County’s financial outlook with an AA+ rating. Fitch Ratings cited Shelby County’s flexibility in spending and low long-term debt and pension obligations as driving factors to the great rating. Fitch Ratings also referenced Shelby County’s sizable fund balance and superior budget flexibility as indicators of ability to manage in case of an economic downturn.

The city of Memphis was recently upgraded from an AA- rating to an AA rating under the guidance of former City Council Budget Committee Chairman Edmund Ford Jr, who is now a Shelby County Commissioner serving on the Budget and Finance Committee.

“A B in the school house may be good, but a B for credit rating is bad. Our good credit rating is important so that whether it’s job creation, growth, or anything that’s going to enhance the quality of life for Shelby County residents, we’re in the best situation possible,” says Commissioner Ford. “Shelby County has the second best rating possible, but with continued diligence I think we could improve to an AAA rating in the near future.” 

The Mayor’s administration intends to further improve the financial outlook by reducing CIP authorizations in the 2020 budget to fall in line with the debt policy of between $75 and $80 million.

“This administration strives to be a good steward of the taxpayer’s money,” says Mayor Harris. “Every expenditure we propose will be carefully considered as we address major needs of the county while maintaining our stable financial outlook. We will balance our top priorities of juvenile justice reform, livable wages, public transit improvement, and education, all while being a watchdog of the taxpayer dollar.” 

The administration expects to present the proposed budget to the Shelby County Commission in May.

(end of release)

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