City's credit rating not hurt by pandemic

The pandemic is extracting a significant toll from Boston families and businesses, but it's not a major factor when considering the city's overall financial health, a credit rating agency said this week.

Moody's Investor Services this week assigned a Aaa rating (its highest rating) and a stable outlook to $270 million worth of Boston general obligation bonds and said the city's reliance on property taxes nullifies some of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

"Despite a recent spike in the unemployment rate and decline in smaller economically sensitive revenue, the coronavirus pandemic is not a rating driver given the city's reliance on property taxes as the primary revenue source," the rating agency wrote. Moody's said it gave Boston the highest possible rating after considering "the very large and stable tax base and the city's prominence as the regional economic center of New England that is further bolstered by significant government, higher education and health care sectors."

The stable outlook, the agency said, "further incorporates our expectation that the tax base will continue to grow and remain stable during the outlook time frame."