Voters in St. Louis and St. Louis County last week passed Proposition P, a sales tax increase to help fund trail and park improvements and renovations to the Gateway Arch.
The tax is projected to generate an additional $31 million in annual revenue for designated projects. About $9 million will go the Arch project which carries a $380 million price tag. Officials are considering issuing up to $90 million of debt to fund the renovations. Private donations will also cover a significant portion of the costs.
The county saw its top ratings affirmed ahead of a $50 million general obligation issue to fund improvements to its courthouse.
Moody's Investors Service rates the county's debt Aaa with a negative outlook. The outlook is due to indirect links to the federal government. Fitch Ratings rates the county AAA with a stable outlook.
Voters approved last April $100 million in borrowing for a family courthouse and the current issue wraps up planned borrowing. "The assignment of the Aaa …is based on the county's substantial tax base and role as the economic hub for eastern Missouri; long trend of strong financial management; and a manageable debt position," Moody's wrote.