Traverse City last week won a two-notch upgrade on its general obligation debt from Standard & Poor’s to AA-plus from AA-minus.

The upgrade comes as the city enters the market with $8 million of limited-tax GO downtown development bonds. It is a rare piece of good news in the fiscally stressed state of Michigan.

Considered an economic hub of the northwest region of the state, Traverse City’s financial position is anchored by a strong tax base that is steadily appreciating, as well as conservative fiscal management, strong reserves, and a moderate debt burden, said Standard & Poor’s. A brisk tourist trade is a key strength for the regional economy as well, analysts said.

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