Standard & Poor's on Monday raised its long-term underlying rating to AA from BBB on $18.8 million of special tax bonds issued in 1992 by the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority, Ala.

S&P previously rated the 1992 bonds based only on enhancement provided by MBIA Insurance Corp., and National Public Finance Guarantee Corp. The outlook was developing.

The underlying rating was upgraded after the rating agency said it determined there would be no impact from Jefferson County's bankruptcy filing.

The 1992 bonds are on parity with the Civic Center Authority's $12.35 million of 2002C bonds, which are also rated AA. The outlook is stable for both series.

"The rating on the series 1992 and 2002C bonds reflects our view of clarification on how Jefferson County's November [2011] bankruptcy filing will affect pledged revenue," said analyst Brian Marshall. The rating also reflects the bond's legal covenants and pledged revenue.

The authority was created in 1965 by an act of the Legislature, and is governed by a nine-member board. It is a separate and distinct local government entity, and not a component unit of Jefferson County.

The authority has no debt supported by the county, nor does it receive revenue levied by the county, Marshall said. All revenue is levied by the state.

The authority's debt was not listed in Jefferson County's bankruptcy filing, "and we understand that the county may in no way impair pledged revenue," he said.

In September, Standard & Poor's took action for similar reasons on the authority's $43.6 million of 2005A bonds upgrading that rating to A-plus from B.

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