The City of Virginia Beach put out a Press Release this afternoon touting that it now has a AAA bond rating from all three major rating agencies: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, and Fitch.
Standard and Poor's had given the rating in 2007, with the other two agencies joining them on Monday. From a political standpoint, the ramifications are very interesting.
First, with a couple major capital projects in the pipes, the financial giants have said Virginia Beach is in a very good position to issue bonds to borrow.
Second, it blows out of the water a strategy that the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) has been trying to push for over a year now: trying to make an issue of the City debt. With the filing deadline for Council seats about a month away, the incumbents would love for VBTA challengers to bring up the debt issue. All the incumbents will have to do is point to the bond ratings.
Finally, I have to point out that Fitch specifically cited Virginia Beach's pursuit of light rail as a reason to upgrade our rating. So the VBTA has been desperately trying to portray light rail as a financial sinkhole, but the fiscal experts think it's a plus? Maybe it will help some realize the VBTA is dead wrong about light rail....