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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades the rating on the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS GO Debt to A1 from Aa3 and Downgrades the Government's Special Obligation Annual Appropriation Debt to A3 from A2; outlook revised to stable

30 Jan 2015

Assigns A1 to $61M GO bonds, Series 2015 A-D

New York, January 30, 2015 --

Moody's Rating

Issue: General Obligation Improvement Bonds, Series 2015-A; Rating: A1; Sale Amount: $29,995,000; Expected Sale Date: 02/05/2014; Rating Description: General Obligation

Issue: Taxable General Obligation Improvement and Refunding Bonds, Series 2015-B; Rating: A1; Sale Amount: $3,850,000; Expected Sale Date: 02/05/2014; Rating Description: General Obligation

Issue: General Obligation Improvement Bonds, Series 2015-C (Wyandotte County Project); Rating: A1; Sale Amount: $5,255,000; Expected Sale Date: 02/05/2014; Rating Description: General Obligation

Issue: General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2015-D; Rating: A1; Sale Amount: $21,955,000; Expected Sale Date: 02/05/2014; Rating Description: General Obligation

Opinion

Moody's Investors Service has assigned an A1 rating to the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City's, KS $29.9 million General Obligation Improvement Bonds, Series 2015-A, $3.9 million Taxable General Obligation Improvement and Refunding Bonds, Series 2015-B, $5.3 million General Obligation Improvement Bonds, Series 2015-C, and $21.9 million General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2015-D. Concurrently, Moody's has downgraded to A1 from Aa3 the ratings on the government's outstanding long-term general obligation and Public Building Commission (PBC) Bonds, Series 2013-A. Additionally, Moody's has downgraded to A3 from A2 the rating on the government's outstanding Special Obligation Annual Appropriation Bonds, Series 2010-H. Post-sale, the government will have $324 million of long-term general obligation debt outstanding; $73 million of short-term general obligation debt outstanding (not rated by Moody's); $8.1 million of appropriation-backed debt and $9.45 million PBC debt outstanding which are both rated by Moody's. The outlook has been revised to stable.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

The downgrade to A1 reflects the county's inability to achieve operational balance resulting in narrow General Fund reserves and liquidity compared to similarly rated credits; dependence on economically sensitive revenues; below average socioeconomic income indices; and a high debt burden that is not expected to decline in the near term.

OUTLOOK

The stable outlook reflects our belief that the government's financial position will improve but remain somewhat limited in the near term, given a variety of revenue raising and expenditure reduction measures. The outlook also reflects ongoing commercial and residential development, which should allow for some revenue growth.

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO UP

• Significant tax base growth

• Substantial improvement in residential wealth indices

• Improvement in reserve levels and multiple years of structural balance and positive operations

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO DOWN

• Continued structural imbalance resulting in further declines in reserves and/or liquidity

• Significant increases in the Government's debt burden

OBLIGOR PROFILE

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City is the state's third largest metro area. The government serves as a regional center for manufacturing, transportation, health care and retail. The tax base is large totaling $1.2 billion in assessed values in fiscal 2014; a corresponding $6.9 billion in estimated actual value.

LEGAL SECURITY

The general obligation unlimited tax bonds are payable from ad valorem taxes levied on all the taxable property within the county including real, personal, and public service property, and any other monies available for such purpose without legal limitation as to rate or amount.

The Series 2013-A PBC bonds are secured by the Unified Government's long term contractual obligation to make lease payments to the PBC that is not subject to annual appropriation.

The Series 2010-H Special Obligation Annual Appropriation bonds are secured by a special obligation of the Unified Government payable from any available funds to be annually appropriated.

USE OF PROCEEDS

Proceeds from the sale of the bonds will pay for various capital improvement projects and equipment purchases for the government. Additionally, the Series 2015-B and Series 2015-D will refund certain maturities of government's outstanding Series 2006-B bonds and Series 2006-A bonds, respectively.

RATING METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in the general obligation rating was US Local Government General Obligation Debt published in January 2014. The principal methodology used in the lease-backed rating and the Series 2010-H debt was The Fundamentals of Credit Analysis for Lease-Backed Municipal Obligations published in December 2011. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

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Tatiana Killen
Analyst
Public Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
100 N Riverside Plaza
Suite 2220
Chicago, IL 60606
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Adebola Kushimo
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Public Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

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SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's downgrades the rating on the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS GO Debt to A1 from Aa3 and Downgrades the Government's Special Obligation Annual Appropriation Debt to A3 from A2; outlook revised to stable
No Related Data.
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