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O’CONNELL ANNOUNCES TAUNTON’S ACHIEVEMENT OF HISTORIC FINANCIAL BOND RATING
Taunton, MA…Today Mayor Shaunna O’Connell proudly announced the City of Taunton’s long-term bond rating has been raised to AA+, the second highest rating available to municipalities. S&P Global Ratings revealed Taunton’s new increased bond rating, which is an upgrade from the City's previous rating of AA, in their RatingsDirect report.
Under O’Connell’s leadership, the bond rating has climbed from AA to AA+. The City of Taunton achieved this prestigious designation during a national economic downturn, and the upgraded rating is indicative of the many ongoing improvements implemented by the Mayor’s Administration and Finance Team.
"This is an incredible accomplishment for our City within three short years," Mayor O’Connell enthused. "It is clear confirmation of our City's strong financial management and commitment to building a better future. I am grateful to our Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Dello Russo, for his hard work. Our City has never been in a stronger financial position, and I couldn’t be more proud of our Finance team. As promised, we are making Taunton a leading city in the Commonwealth.”
Achieving and maintaining strong credit ratings allows municipalities to borrow at lower interest rates when bonds are issued to finance capital projects which saves taxpayer dollars over the life of the bonds. Taunton is now poised to save millions of dollars in the coming years due to O’Connell’s leadership.
CFO Patrick Dello Russo explains the practical effect of this increased rating, “The impact this will have on the City is enormous as we will receive lower interest rates on all future borrowings. To conceptualize this, for every 20-year authorization of $20 million or more, we will save the taxpayers $1 million on interest cost.”
The City of Taunton has now solidified its status as a financial leader as Taunton is the only City in the surrounding area that has a bond rating greater than AA. According to Peter Frazier, Lead Financial Banker at Hilltop Securities, “The AA+ rating is a remarkable achievement for the O’Connell Administration, CFO Dello Russo and his Finance Team, and the City of Taunton as a whole. Taunton is now in the top 25% of the Commonwealth. It is a historic accomplishment.”
The S&P report is a public document currently available to investors on Wall Street. The full S&P analysis can be found on the City of Taunton's website: www.taunton-ma.gov ###
S&P Global Ratings
City of Taunton Consolidated Financial Policies and Procedures
City of Taunton S&P Results
City of Taunton Finance Team: pictured from left to right: Gill Enos (Budget Director), Ian Fortes (City Auditor), Richard Calderon (Chief Procurement Officer), Christine Clymens (Treasurer-Collector), Bill Roth (Executive Director of OECD), Patrick Dello Russo (Chief Financial Officer), Mayor Shaunna O'Connell, Paul Arikian (IT Director), Katherine Nunes (Director of DPW Capital Projects), Renee Brabant (City Assessor), Lisa LaBelle (City Assessor), and Richard Conti (Chair, Board of Assessors).