AAA Bond Rating
Columbus Maintains Highest Possible Triple A Bond Rating
Columbus maintains the highest possible credit ratings from Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poors, and Fitch Ratings. Bond Ratings are a method of evaluating relative credit risk and are issued before a city, state, or other public body can issue bonds to finance major capital projects and neighborhood improvements. High ratings let the City borrow at lower interest rates, potentially saving the City millions of dollars in borrowing costs.
The City of Columbus issues bonds to finance its capital projects such as park improvements, road work, sidewalks, streetlights, fire stations, safety equipment, and other public improvements. Bonds are repaid using revenues from income taxes or utility sources, primarily water and sewer bills. Bonds are also authorized and guaranteed by voters in the form of property tax millage rates. This assurance allows the City to borrow money at even lower interest rates; however, since 1956, the City has set aside a portion of existing income taxes to pay off its debt which means residents pay nothing more in property or income taxes.
The City of Columbus Capital Budget is separate from the General Fund "Operating" Budget, and can only be invested in major purchases, construction or renovations, or land purchases. While the separate budgets are often confused, the City cannot use borrowed Capital Funding to pay for operating salaries, employees or other operational costs.