DALLAS — Austin has earned its first AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s, becoming the largest city in Texas with the top credit ranking.

The rating agency conferred the top marks in advance of a $173 million refunding deal led by Lehman Brothers scheduled for Jan. 31. The upgrade, which also affects $781 million of outstanding general obligation debt, comes after years of stability under the AA-plus rating, despite an economic downturn in 2001.

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