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TRS Pension Change Unlikely to Stress Texas School Districts

A recent change to the assumed return of the Teachers' Retirement System of Texas (TRS) is not expected to materially affect local school districts' spending flexibility, according to Fitch Ratings.

North & South Carolina USPF Credits Can Withstand Fallout from Hurricane Florence

Fitch Ratings expects credit ratings for Fitch-rated public entities in North Carolina and South Carolina affected by Hurricane Florence to remain stable despite challenges posed by significant property damage and unprecedented flooding.

California School Districts Brace for Budget Pressures

California school districts face a challenging budget environment when the next recession comes, though credit ratings should withstand said challenges according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Some HOV Policies Curbing Viability of U.S. Managed Lanes

The increasing prevalence of HOV policies is exposing some managed lanes throughout the U.S. to greater risk from technologies that are facilitating more ride sharing, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Teleconference Replay

Fitch Healthcare Medians – Hospitals & CCRCs

Fitch Ratings hosted a teleconference to discuss the 2018 Median Ratios for Hospitals and Nonprofit Continuing Care Retirement Communities.


Prop 6 Highlights Impact of Voter Initiatives on CA

An initiative on the California ballot in November highlights the extent to which voter initiatives can limit the state of California's operating flexibility. Prop 6 would repeal legislatively authorized tax increases dedicated to transportation projects and make it more difficult to increase transportation related fees and taxes in the future. 

Operating Margins Remain Under Siege for U.S. NFP Hospitals

Stunted operating margins remain a thorn in the side for U.S. not-for-profit hospitals, though balance sheets are healthiert. Ongoing struggles with operating margins reflect a broader sector trend in which healthcare reform pressures have only been alleviated not eliminated.

Complimentary Special Report

Leverage, Ratings and the Relevance of Unfunded Pension Liability

The municipal market has been sharply focused on pensions in state and local government ratings, but pensions are also part of the risk profile of public enterprises.  

This report is complimentary for a limited time. Free registration is required.

US Colleges Turning to P3s More Frequently

Strains on revenue are leading more US colleges and universities to seek extra help in the form of public private partnerships.

Criteria Update

U.S. Not-for-Profit Hospitals and Health Systems Rating Criteria Update

Fitch Ratings completed the initial implementation of its U.S. Not-for-Profit Hospitals and Health Systems Rating Criteria as of July 9, 2018. We reviewed 125 existing issuers, or just under one-half of our total acute portfolio. 

Read Full Report
(Accessible via free user account) 

Fitch Rates Chicago Housing Authority, IL GO Bonds 'AA-'; Outlook Stable

CHA expects to issue its series 2018 A&B bonds in the amount $325 million during the week of Sept. 4, 2018. Proceeds of the series 2018 A&B bonds will be used to finance certain capital costs of the authority and related projects within its portfolio. In addition, the proceeds will be used to fund the debt service reserve fund and pay the cost of issuance. Read more.

US States to Gain Modest Tax Revenue from Sports Gaming

Initial data on US states' sports gaming revenues support Fitch Ratings' view that tax revenue increases will be relatively modest as most states will seek to balance tax gains with encouraging operator participation. Secondary tax revenue benefits related to consumer participation in other purchases may provide a more significant boost to states' tax revenues.

Louisiana Law Does Not Enhance Recovery Prospects and Ratings

The recent revision of Louisiana's public finance laws does not offer sufficient protection to bondholders to result in rating uplift. Louisiana Act No. 569, which amends the Consolidated Local Government Indebtedness Act, includes language meant to grant a statutory lien on taxes or other funds pledged to bondholders.

Demographic Volatility A Risk for Some States in Downturn

US states with the strongest and most stable demographic and economic factors are generally expected to be less impacted by a cyclical downturn than those with strong but more volatile underlying trends. We recently reviewed eight factors to assess demographic and economic trends at the US state level.

California Wildfires Unlikely to Affect U.S. Public Finance Credit Quality

Fitch Ratings sees no immediate credit impact on Fitch-rated U.S. public finance credits from the latest northern California wildfires, which are ongoing primarily in Shasta, Lake and Mariposa counties.  

US State Revenue Outlook is Uncertain

Fiscal 2018 revenues for many US states were notably higher than the prior year. However, most of the increases could be one-time, making future revenue forecasts less certain, Fitch Ratings says. 

US Public Power Criteria Revision

Fitch Ratings finalized its new criteria for U.S. public power systems, the changes of which are detailed in a new report and companion piece. These revisions will facilitate a more forward-looking, predictable approach to ratings and better highlight differences among credits in the same category.

Good 2018 Returns Are Little Help for US Public Pensions

Several public pension plans have announced solid investment returns as of fiscal year-end 2018, which for most pensions was on June 30, 2018. Fiscal 2018 gains for most are likely to be firmly ahead of their investment return targets. 

Medicaid Waiver Actions Limit US States' Cost Controls

Recent decisions concerning state Medicaid waivers will add to challenges states are facing controlling healthcare costs by limiting the ability to manage expenditure growth and potentially raising the number of uninsured.

U.S. Colleges and Universities Show Stable Liquidity for FY2017 Despite Pressures

Both public and private U.S. colleges and universities demonstrated stable debt burdens and liquidity in fiscal 2017 in the face of growing operating pressures. Trends highlighted in the median report and the Fitch Analytical Comparative Tool (FACT) show level debt burdens and steady to improving liquidity against expenses in fiscal 2017.

Nacogdoches Hospital (TX) Bondholders Not Insulated from Weak Operations

Recent news that Nacogdoches County Hospital District, Texas (NCHD) has retained attorneys to consider debt restructuring has sparked commentary that this is an example of uncertain bondholder protections in bankruptcy. 

Tariff Risk to US, Chinese Corporates Limited But Rising

The vulnerability of rated corporates in the US and China to initial rounds of tariffs by those countries is limited, due to either low direct exposure or the relatively strong global economy. However, tit-for-tat retaliatory actions could raise credit risk and in rare cases cause rating actions where issuers are already under pressure.

RelatedCredit Hotspot: Trade Protectionism


Toll Roads - 10 Years in Infrastructure

Senior Fitch analysts in a teleconference discussion on US Toll Roads.

This follows the publication of our recent report: Toll Roads – 10 Years in Infrastructure

Ongoing NAFTA Uncertainty Lifts Trade Risks for US States

Protracted uncertainty around the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations could elevate risks for some US states with the most to lose from a NAFTA termination. These states export heavily to Canada and Mexico.

10 Years in Infrastructure

Toll Roads, Airports, Power & Renewables

The Fitch Ratings series 10 Years in Infrastructure features three new special reports (no subscription required):

•  Toll Roads – 10 Years in Infrastructure

•  A Decade in Airport Ratings

•  10 Years in Power and Renewables - A Decade of Phenomenal Growth in Renewables


NAFTA: Trade in the Time of Trump

The smaller economies of the Upper Midwest and the Southwest border states would be the most negatively affected state economies if the US withdraws from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), due to the states' high exposure to export trade with Canada and Mexico.


Dan Champeau


Dan Champeau

Analytical Group Head

+1 212 908 9188

Ann Flynn


Ann Flynn

Business Group Head

+1 212 908 9152

Jack Archibald


Jack Archibald

Business - Fees

+1 212 908 0664

Jessalynn Moro


Jessalynn Moro

Head of Public Finance

+1 212 908 0608

Laura Porter

Tax-Supported - States & Locals

Laura Porter

Sector Head

+1 212 908 0575

Dennis Pidherny

Revenue-Supported - Public Power and Water & Sewer

Dennis Pidherny

Managing Director - Public Finance

+1 212 908 0738