Comptroller Darlene Green announces that she complies with the court’s ruling; however, she reaffirms that the agreement to renovate Scottrade Center is not fiscally responsible, not in the best interest of city taxpayers and may harm the city’s credit rating. On the advice of counsel, Comptroller Green asserts that she shall preserve her right to appeal.
“While I hope that a downgrade of the city’s credit rating does not occur, an August 2017 credit report by S&P specifically warned the financing of Scottrade Center renovations would increase our already high debt burden,” said Comptroller Green. “On top of that, the city’s 2018 budget had to be reduced by $17 million. This is a significant burden on our taxpayers, and that is why I called upon city leaders and the Kiel Center Partners to find another financing mechanism.”
Over the past year both Moody’s and Fitch credit rating agencies have lowered credit ratings for the City of St. Louis, citing limited financial flexibility, a reserve shortage and high debt levels. Then in the August report, S&P warned it might lower the city’s credit rating should budgetary performance and flexibility worsen.
“I am grateful for the past work my office has done to upgrade the city’s credit rating and I will continue to work with city leaders to advance the best interests of our taxpayers.”
Proposes $50M No Tax Increase GO Bonds for Capital Improvements
City leaders owe taxpayers the responsible management of their tax dollars since asking them to raise sales taxes this year. Comptroller Green proposes that city leaders ask taxpayers to approve the issuance of $50 million No Tax Increase general obligation (GO) bonds in 2018. This second no tax increase GO bond issue is part of the 10-year financial strategy approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment in September 2015.
“St. Louis city voters last approved $25M no tax increase GO bonds in 2016 to support our firefighters. If asked, I am confident that they will again support our first responders in 2018. City voters will not see higher taxes and first responders can receive essential public safety equipment to better serve the community,” said Comptroller Green.
Source: City of St. Louis