The City of Kokomo’s bond rating has been raised to the second-highest possible level by Standard and Poor’s. City Controller Jim Brannon said the increase from an A- rating to AA+ status could mean tens of thousands of dollars less interest paid when the city next issues a bond.
“If you could borrow at five [percent] at A-, you might borrow at four [percent] at AA+, which means the bond market has more confidence in your ability to repay; they believe you’re more stable and less risk,” Brannon said.
Kokomo currently has just one bond outstanding – to pay for improvements to the city swimming pool — which Brannon estimated will be paid off before the end of the year. He said the city’s internal research shows no other municipalities in the state are held in higher regard by S&P’s bond raters.
“We did our own little investigation and no one has a better rating than us,” he said. “But Anderson, Indianapolis, Michigan City, New Albany have the same rating that we do.”
Even during the depths of the recession, when the county’s unemployment rate approached 20%, the city’s rating never fell below A-minus.