The City of Hackensack’s credit rating is being increased by top financial rating agency Standard and Poor’s to AA+ which is just one level below the highest possible rating of AAA.
The increase in the City’s credit rating comes before a $28 million bond sale scheduled for August 18 and is likely to save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in lower interest costs in coming years as public improvements are financed.
“This wonderful recognition from the financial industry validates the smart planning and careful management that has placed our City in a very strong position,” said Deputy Mayor Kathy Canestrino. “A higher credit rating will save the City substantially in lower interest costs on debt issued for City improvements, ultimately saving money for our residents. We are extremely proud of the work of CFO Jim Mangin, Frank DiMaria, and our Finance department for their hard work and planning in delivering these kinds of results to our taxpayers.”
A higher credit rating demonstrates the creditworthiness and financial strength of a municipality as measured by an independent, objective credit agency. The City’s AA+ rating will give it access to lower interest rates than those afforded to borrowers with weaker ratings when bonding for major infrastructure projects.
According to Standard and Poor’s: “The one-notch upgrade reflects several improvements in Hackensack's credit profile. The city has formally adopted, and follows, what we view as good financial management policies and practices, underpinning the city's recent track record of sizeable surpluses and resulting in a level of budgetary flexibility viewed as strong. Additionally, “City management has implemented changes to control departmental spending while also expanding its non-property-tax revenue to help alleviate its residents' tax burdens.”
“This is a huge win for all of the dedicated employees in the Finance Department, Mayor John Labrosse’s administration, and the residents of Hackensack,” said City CFO Jim Mangin. “This administration’s leadership is responsible for generating over a billion dollars of investment in our City and we will continue to see more. Those investments will ultimately benefit every resident.”
This is the current administration’s second credit rating increase. In 2018, Standard & Poor’s raised the City credit rating from AA- to AA.