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Posted on: August 27, 2021

Press Release: Moody’s Upgrades City of Annapolis Bond Rating to Aa1


Mayor Gavin Buckley



160 Duke of Gloucester Street

Annapolis, Maryland 21401


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Media Contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724,

Moody’s Upgrades City of Annapolis Bond Rating to Aa1

Move Is a Result of Financial Policies Put in Place Over the Past Four Years


Annapolis, MD (August 27, 2021) – Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the City of Annapolis’ bond rating to Aa1 on Thursday (from Aa2), aligning the City’s bond rating with Standard & Poors (S&P) Global Ratings (AA+) and Fitch Ratings (AA+). 

From the Moody’s press release announcing the upgrade

“The upgrade to Aa1 reflects the city's sizable, diverse, and growing tax base with institutional presence, above average demographic profile, manageable debt burden, and elevated pension burden. The rating also incorporates the city's improved financial position that is supported by solid reserves and liquidity that is expected to remain stable as well as the city's reduced illiquid receivables from enterprise funds.”

City Manager David Jarrell credited the rating increase to City financial policies developed by former City Manager Teresa Sutherland and Finance Director Jodee Dickinson at the direction of Mayor Gavin Buckley and approved by the City Council.

In 2013 and 2015, the bond rating for Annapolis (by Moody’s) was Aa3. In 2017, the rating was upgraded to Aa2 with a positive outlook where it remained until today’s announcement.  

Mayor Buckley praised the decision. He said, “when I came into office, it was painful but necessary to upend the City’s budget processes to not only be more transparent, but better align the City with modern accounting practices. Now every expenditure has a line item in the City budget and every outlay of City funds is accounted for through a process.” 

The updated rating action affects $128.9 million in general obligation unlimited tax debt.

About Bond Ratings

Bonds are units of debt that represent a loan (typically made by corporations or governments). Bonds are some of the safest investments due to the ability of credit rating agencies to assess the risk of default by studying available public information. Agencies rate the bonds by assigning grades: AAA is the highest quality and grade, followed by AA and A. Bonds rated B and C are low grade and highly speculative. Grade D bonds are in bankruptcy or default. The higher the bond’s rating, the lower the interest rate it will carry. Bonds are used by municipalities like the City of Annapolis to finance capital expenditures and projects. 

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