Fitch Ratings downgraded North Las Vegas’ general obligation bonds to A-plus from AA-minus with a negative outlook due to a worse-than-expected economic decline.

The rating change affects more than $430 million of bonds.

Fitch said the negative outlook reflects the ongoing general fund pressures for the city amid weakening cash reserves in the water and wastewater systems

The water systems support North Las Vegas’ general fund and debt service through annual utility payments in lieu of taxes.

Fitch said the city and the regions housing market has been among the hardest hit by the collapse in the housing market with very high foreclosure rates.

The regional economy, dominated by tourism and gaming, has experienced major falloffs in revenue and employment, according to Fitch.

Analysts said a further economic decline in the region beyond the city’s expectations and an inability by officials to correct the ongoing imbalance could trigger a downgrade.

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