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Editorial: Give city, county, NMFA credit for credit ratings

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In spite of an economic recovery that hasn’t quite arrived in the Land of Enchantment, both the city of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County have maintained AAA bond ratings. And a national credit rating agency has just reinstated a high credit rating to the New Mexico Finance Authority.

That’s great news for taxpayers, who are cut a break on borrowing costs like interest rates, and municipal borrowers, who would pay higher rates otherwise.

Mayor Richard Berry says “we’ve worked diligently to be fiscally responsible over the last three years, and it’s paying off for the citizens of Albuquerque.” County Commission Chairwoman Maggie Hart Stebbins says “it’s remarkable, in this economic environment, that Bernalillo County would achieve that rating.” Finance Authority board Chairwoman Nann Winter, who was appointed by the governor to turn the agency around after a faked audit surfaced, says it’s “great news for the NMFA, and more importantly, for its New Mexico borrowers. … I’m particularly pleased Moody’s recognized the strong governance and positive organizational changes.”

And while the county’s property-tax-financed revenue stream is much more stable than the city’s gross-receipts-tax income, both government entities have been responsible stewards of the public’s money, according to the bond-rating money managers.

And the turnaround at NMFA under Winter has been nothing short of remarkable.

All deserve credit for this hard work.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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