Fitch Ratings revised to negative its outlook on $5.3 million of AA-minus rated unlimited-tax general obligation debt sold by Berkley. The Detroit-area city has been struggling financially like many of its neighbors.
The city maintains solid general fund reserves and financial flexibility, and a manageable debt burden, but faces taxable value declines over the near-term given its location in one of the most depressed labor markets in the country.
“While the city has no direct exposure to auto industry concerns, the sharp increase in local unemployment from a year prior is a clear sign of stress, although it remains below the high regional and state average,” analysts wrote.
Berkley is a suburb of 15,500 residents about 11 miles northwest of downtown Detroit in Oakland County.