Treasurer Fitch warns bond bill spells trouble for credit rating

You can expect the confidence national debt rating agencies have in Mississippi’s debt repayment abilities will be diminished by the Legislature’s approval of about $560 million in new debt in a year revenues are $100 million below projections and dropping still further, state Treasurer Lynn Fitch warns.

A ratings drop from the likes of Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poors would force Mississippi to pay more for the debt issued in 2016’s $308 million bond bill as well as the $254 million approved in a special legislative session to cover incentives for Continental Tire and TopShip.

The new borrowing, she said, will increase a per-capita tax-supported debt load in which a Debt Affordability Study she recently issued put at $1,747. By contrast, the U.S. median tax-supported debt per-capita is $1,012, the Debt Affordability Study reported.