City’s creditworthiness takes hit
Fitch, one of three major ratings agencies, announced that it’s downgraded the city of San Antonio’s long-standing AAA bond rating.
The downgrade to AA+ occurred because of the Nov. 6 charter amendment election in which voters gave the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association the unilateral right to demand binding arbitration on contract matters.
The downgrade is expected to cost local taxpayers millions of dollars a year.
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Under retiring City Manager Sheryl Sculley, the city had maintained a AAA bond rating — the highest possible — for nine consecutive years. Such a rating allows the city to sell bonds at the lowest available interest rates, meaning more tax dollars are spent on capital projects and less on interest.
The downgrade “reflects the city’s diminished expenditure flexibility triggered by a voter-approved city charter amendment that permits firefighters to call for binding arbitration during future collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations that result in an impasse,” according to Fitch.
This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.
Josh Baugh is a staff writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | email@example.com | Twitter: @jbaugh