The village of Skokie has released the following financial information.
In early September, 2013, Moody’s Investors Service assigned a Aaa rating, the highest possible rating for municipal bonds, to the Village of Skokie’s new $9 million general obligation bonds and affirmed this rating for all outstanding Village bonds. Proceeds of the new bonds will reimburse the Village for funds used to construct the CTA Yellow Line Station in Downtown Skokie.
The Aaa bond rating assigned by Moody’s Investors Service follows an affirmation of a AAA rating from Fitch Ratings for all 2013 and prior bonds. Both bond rating agencies have now given or affirmed Skokie’s rating as the highest possible for municipal bonds.
“These outstanding municipal bond ratings place the Village of Skokie in an elite category,” said Village Manager Albert J. Rigoni. “Only 1.13 percent of all municipalities in the United States hold a Aaa bond rating from Moody’s Investors Service.”
According to Rigoni, a number of factors that contribute to Skokie’s financial strength and stability also contributed to the ratings. “Skokie’s mature tax base, stable financial operations, diverse revenue sources, manageable debt profile and other factors were key to the rating affirmation. In addition, Moody’s cited the strong occupancy at Westfield Old Orchard and continued commercial and retail investment as adding to Skokie’s financial strength,” said Rigoni.
Moody’s report also noted that Skokie resident income exceeds state and national norms, with per capita and median family incomes at 113.6 percent and 125.2 percent of national figures, respectively, as estimated in the 2006 – 2010 American Community Survey.
Rigoni comments further on the Village’s diverse revenue sources, “The Village Board and staff are committed to ensuring that Skokie has a variety of revenue sources. The $15.4 million of annual property tax revenue has been frozen at that level by Board policy since 1990. Other revenues that are tied to economic growth, such as sales taxes and income taxes, provide the revenues that allow the property tax freeze to continue.”
“Increases in sales tax revenues are fostered through progressive economic development. A majority of the Village’s commercial and industrial areas are faring well in the current economic climate, and Skokie continues to attract new businesses, including Mariano’s, Nordstrom Rack, Walmart and numerous other small restaurants and businesses throughout the community.”