Fitch Ratings last week affirmed its AA-minus on Akron’s limited-tax general obligation bonds and income-tax revenue bonds. It said the city, long known as the rubber capital of the world, has managed to shift from a manufacturing-based economy to one more reliant on health care and other key sectors.
“The city’s recovery from the recession has been slow, but due in large part to strong economic development efforts and employment retention, the economy has transformed from a largely manufacturing-based sector — particularly rubber that supported the automotive industry — to one based on polymer-related industries, health care, education and services,” Fitch said.
Ongoing challenges include the city’s reliance on economically sensitive income tax revenue and declining population, Fitch said.
Akron has $196.5 million of limited-tax GOs and $183 million of income-tax bonds. Fitch rates another $16.2 million of certificates of participation at A. The agency’s outlook is stable.