Standard & Poor’s last week raised its long-term rating on Little Rock’s Series 2004A and 2004B limited-tax library bonds and Series 2004 limited-tax general obligation refunding bonds to AA from AA-minus. It also assigned the AA-rating to the city’s upcoming sale of $32 million of library construction and improvement bonds.

The improved rating on the limited-tax library bonds put them on par with the city’s limited-tax GO debt rating.

Standard & Poor’s Dallas-based credit analyst Paul Jasin said the new rating is due to Little Rock’s stable, regional economic base that is anchored by state government. The city also has a strong financial position and low overall debt levels.

“The stable outlook reflects Little Rock’s improved financial performance and position and our expectation that the city will continue to adopt structurally balanced budgets and maintain its strong general fund reserves,” Jasin said

Overall net debt levels are low at $1,522 per capita. Amortization of debt is average with more than 60% retired in 10 years.

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