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Stockbridge’s Bond Rating Hinges On Eagle’s Landing Creation

Stockbridge would also lose millions in tax revenue if some of its land goes toward the creation of Eagle’s Landing. Stockbridge would still be responsible for all its debt, which, according to Moody’s Investment Service, would bring down the city’s bond rating.
Stockbridge would lose millions in tax revenue if some of its land goes toward the creation of Eagle’s Landing. Stockbridge would still be responsible for all its debt, which, according to Moody’s Investment Service, would bring down the city’s bond rating.
Credit Ross Terrell / WABE

The city of Stockbridge’s bond rating could be negatively affected by the Eagle’s Landing legislation.

The legislation, signed last week by Gov. Nathan Deal, will let voters decide on creating the new city of Eagle’s Landing. Part of its land would come from Stockbridge.

As a result, Stockbridge would also lose millions in tax revenue. It would still be responsible for all its debt, which, according to Moody’s Investment Service, would bring down its bond rating.

Lisa Washburn, with research firm Municipal Market Analytics, says that sets a bad precedent for other cities.

“It introduces a level of risk to a municipal security pledge that was not thought to be there in the past,” Washburn says.

She said it could make it more expensive for cities to borrow money.

“It can be detrimental to bond holders, in which case, they’ll either demand a higher interest rate, so they’ll want to get compensated because there’s a greater risk there,” Washburn says, “or they may not want to take on that risk at all.”

After signing the legislation, Deal said the decision would have no impact on the state’s bond rating.