Standard & Poor’s last week upgraded the underlying rating it assigns Thomasville’s school general obligation bonds to AA-plus from BBB-plus.
The upgrade reflects Georgia’s voluntary state aid intercept program. The outlook is stable.
The agency also assigned its A-minus issuer credit rating to the city.
“The upgrade reflects the completion of a recent study highlighting the city’s moderate utility rates, as well as improved management practices and historically strong special-purpose local option sales tax collections for education,” said Standard & Poor’s analyst Michael Taylor in a press release about the upgrade.
A 1% special-purpose local option sales tax is in place to support the bonds, and the full faith and credit of Thomasville also backs them.
Taylor pointed out in the report that the city had a historically strong record when it came to SPLOST collections for education.
He also noted that the stable outlook on Thomasville’s issuer credit rating reflects that strong SPLOST collection record for education, as well as the city’s improved management practices. The city also benefits from having below-average county unemployment levels and a low overall net debt burden coupled with rapid amortization.
The city is hampered by its dependence on utility revenues to fund general operations, limited economic base, and limited tax-base growth.
Thomasville’s population is about 19,000. It is located in Thomas County.