Janet Cowell, the state treasurer of triple-A rated North Carolina, said the state may need to issue bonds or raise new revenue to pay for infrastructure needs.

In an interview with the Fayetteville Observer newspaper Monday, Cowell, a Democrat, said that the state could have a harder time maintaining its bond rating if it does not adopt a long-term plan to meet growing infrastructure needs.

Though the state's rating is not currently in jeopardy, she said the Republican-led Legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory, also a Republican, are reluctant to take on new debt even for infrastructure, the paper said.

"We are very conservative with our debt, and we have a well-funded pension," Cowell told the Observer. "We know we have infrastructure needs. You need to have a plan on how you are going to do that."

North Carolina had $4.5 billion of outstanding general obligation bonds as of June 30, 2012, and another $2.4 billion of outstanding certificates of participation, limited obligation bonds, and lease-purchase bonds. The state is rated triple-A by the three major rating agencies.

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