S&P: Clark County, NV's Series 2018 Limited-Tax GO Stadium Improvement Bonds Assigned 'AA+' Rating

S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'AA+' long-term rating to Clark County, Nev.'s series 2018 limited-tax general obligation (GO) stadium improvement bonds. Although the bonds are ultimately backed by the county's GO pledge, the county anticipates paying for the stadium bonds through newly approved room taxes. At the same time, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'AA' long-term rating on Pima County Industrial Development Authority, Ariz.'s lease revenue bonds, supported by the county. In addition, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'AA+' long-term rating and underlying rating (SPUR) on the county's existing GO debt, issued either by Clark County or on its behalf. The outlook on all ratings is stable.

Bond proceeds will be used to help fund a new National Football League stadium and surrounding parking construction costs, fund a debt service reserve, and pay the costs of issuance.

"The 'AA+' ratings reflect our opinion of the county's strong economy, very strong management, strong budgetary performance, and very strong budgetary flexibility and liquidity," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Michael Parker.

The stable outlook reflects our view of the county's stable economy with participation in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metropolitan statistical area. The stable outlook also reflects our view of the county's strong financial policies and practices and stable overall financial position. Strong economic activity has continued to fuel the steady revenue growth in recent years. We do not expect to change the ratings within the two-year outlook horizon.

If the county is unable to achieve operational balance for multiple years, resulting in reserves falling below strong levels, and if near-term debt issuances or pension increases weaken the county's debt profile significantly, we could consider lowering the ratings.

We could raise the ratings if the county's key economic indicators improve to levels comparable with those of higher-rated peers.

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