On Friday, Governor Tony Evers announced that the state of Wisconsin’s bond rating has been upgraded by multiple agencies. Kroll Bond Rating Agency upgraded its long-term rating to AAA from AA+ for General Obligation (GO) Bonds, and S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term rating to AA+ from AA.
The upgraded ratings will provide the state of Wisconsin an avenue to borrow money at lower interest rates, which will result in lower debt service costs to Wisconsin taxpayers. The AAA rating from Kroll Bond Rating Agency is the first time the state’s underlying bond rating has been at the AAA-level by any rating agency since 1982. Kroll had last upgraded the state’s rating to AA+ in 2017, and S&P had last upgraded the state’s rating to AA in 2008.
In upgrading Wisconsin’s rating, Kroll Bond Rating Agency cited, the state’s “substantial liquidity, evidenced by a near tripling of budget reserves over the past three years; continuing, healthy revenue growth, despite substantial tax cuts; and an ongoing, post-COVID-19 recovery, fueled by a mature and expanding economy and favorable business climate.” S&P Global Ratings noted it expects the state “will continue to take responsive budgetary actions” to ensure the state’s fiscal stability, specifically pointing to the governor’s authority to responsibly manage the state’s budget. The state also maintains its ratings from Moody’s Investors Service at Aa1 and Fitch Ratings at AA+.