Fitch Ratings dropped its rating to A from A-plus on $26.7 million of limited-tax general obligation bonds issued by North Las Vegas on Oct. 19.
It was Fitch’s second downgrade of the credit this year. The final maturity on the bonds is June 30, 2036.
Analysts expressed concern about the reduced liquidity and general fund fiscal pressure that necessitated the issuance of 2011 refunding bonds to alleviate cash-flow constraints by deferring principal payments for five years.
The general fund’s reliance on utility payments in lieu of tax revenue and the area’s dependence on tourism and gambling were also cited as credit concerns.
The Las Vegas housing market was one of the hardest hit by the collapse of the housing market, resulting in a combined taxable assessed-valuation decline of 48% from 2009 to 2011, according to the rating report.
On the upside, the city’s debt levels are moderate to high, but its five-year capital plan includes little new debt and the city makes 100% of its annual required contributions to the state’s pension system, which is adequately funded.
The Clark County city has experienced rating declines, taking it down a total of three notches since April 2010.
Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the North Las Vegas bonds to A2 from A1 in August.