Digging Deeper: GA credit rating among best in nation, why? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: GA credit rating among best in nation, why?

While the U.S. may have lost its AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's, Georgia's rating remains among the best in the nation.

Georgia is one of 13 states with a triple A rating and one of five with a AAA stable rating from all three agencies.

Hard working Georgians are keeping the Peach State's credit rating up and better than the nation's rate as a whole.

"You don't get a AAA rating overnight, you don't get it based on some short term situation, we've had a very good history as a state of managing our funds," said Vic Sullivan, Wells Fargo Advisors Branch Manager.

A lot of it is based on Georgia's income tax, the tax we all pay out of our check.

"That really does allow the state to have a nice steady amount of income as compared to some states that are operating largely off of gasoline tax and things along that line that some states have higher property taxes, things along those lines can be quite a bit more variable," said Sullivan.

Digging deeper we learned Georgia is just one of five states that has a AAA rating from all three bond rating agencies. It also helps when the state wants to borrow money for a big project, like highway transportation improvements.

"So the idea is to borrow the money and pay for it over a generation rather than making everybody all the taxpayers who live in Georgia today absorb it all," said Sullivan.

If the state has a good fiscal house, then as they borrow.

"They're viewed by the market place as a very attractive place to do that and with that strong degree of credit rating and confidence that allows Georgia to borrow money at the best rate you can get," said Sullivan.

Ultimately saving tax payers money on state improvement projects.

Investors have a tendency to be interested in bond securities because the interest gained is federal tax free. If it's done within the state it can also be state tax free giving an investor a better return on their investment.

Copyright 2011 WALB. All rights reserved.

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