Cincinnati bond rating

Two major bond rating agencies are keeping the City of Cincinnati’s bond ratings the same, but one of them has upgraded its financial outlook for the city.

Cincinnati officials said in a press release Tuesday that Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed the city’s general obligation bond rating of “Aa2.”  But Moody’s moved its financial outlook for the city from the negative category to stable.

Cincinnati officials will be meeting with bond rating agencies next month to essentially determine the city's credit score for the coming year.  That bond rating determines how much it will cost the city to borrow money. 

Council Member Kevin Flynn said the process and the rating is important.

"Even if it's a quarter point, we're talking substantial dollars here if we get a reduction," Flynn said.

Right now the city's bond rating is AA, which is a step below the best of AAA.  City officials want to maintain the current rating. 

The group trying to revamp the city of Cincinnati's pension system says it's submitted almost 16,000 signatures on petitions to put the charter amendment before voters. It needs more than 7,400 valid signatures to make November's ballot. The board of elections still needs to verify the signatures and certify the issue. 

"This is a common-sense approach," said Burr Robinson with the Cincinnati for Pension Reform ballot committee.  "We can't meet our pension obligations, and the problem only gets worse the longer we stick with this current structure."

Cincinnati Council is opposing a campaign to change the city's retirement system. The Cincinnati for Pension Reform Committee has been collecting signatures to put the issue on November's ballot. Council's finance committee today passed a resolution opposing the effort, saying it's not a solution to the city's unfunded pension liability.

Jay Hanselman

Moody's Investors Service is downgrading Cincinnati's bond rating because of a new method for analyzing pension obligations.  

The city's general obligations bonds are now rated Aa2 instead of the previous Aa1.  Moody's also revised the city's outlook to negative.