November 26, 2019

Statement from Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot on Affirmative Credit Ratings for the City of Chicago

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

 “Today’s ratings by S&P, Fitch and Kroll confirm from independent financial stakeholders that the City of Chicago is moving in the right direction by addressing our urgent financial challenges today while making necessary structural investments to ensure stability for our communities in the future. Our 2020 budget supports new investments​, which speaks to our values as a ​City, maintains quality services our residents can depend on, and does everything to prevent hard-working Chicagoans from bearing the burden as we strive to put our City​'s finances back on track. This budget lives up ​to the commitment we made six months ago to begin the work of restoring a city that is more transparent, equitable and prosperous​, serving every community and resident in Chicago. And, we’ve done it without imposing a large property tax increase or ​receiving a downgrade by the rating agencies—a remarkable feat given the historic proportions of the $838 million shortfall we faced. 

“S&P has specifically noted in their report: 'The stable outlook over the one-year horizon reflects our expectation that Chicago will make incremental progress toward executing its three-year plan to structural balance...Should the city execute its three-year plan to structural balance, including funding all pension plans on an actuarially based statutory payments basis, we would consider it a significant step in the right direction.'

“As these independent financial stakeholders have affirmed, today the City has established a responsible budget for 2020 that puts us in a much stronger position to continue meeting our obligations to taxpayers and strengthening our communities for the future.” 


  • The Mayor’s 2020 budget has received commendation from widely respected financial organizations, with all three major credit ratings agencies (S&P, Fitch, Kroll) affirming Chicago’s ratings today.
  • S&P today rated City’s general obligation bonds as BBB+ (stable), and issued an AA- (stable) rating for the STSC bonds. 
  • Fitch today rated the City’s general obligations as BBB- (stable).
  • Kroll today rated the City’s general obligations as (A).
  • Also, the Civic Federation noted: "The Civic Federation commends Mayor Lightfoot’s approach to addressing this year’s spending plan that focuses on savings and efficiencies and at the same time emphasizes targeted taxes and fees rather than a large property tax increase. Additionally, the Federation is encouraged by Mayor Lightfoot’s actions to institute good government reforms...that could help to begin rebuilding trust in a city that faces severe financial and economic challenges."

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