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Rating Action:

Moody's updates enhanced ratings for 181 New York localities in conjunction with release of new methodology

06 Aug 2013

Moody's withdraws programmatic rating on New York State Section 99-B Intercept Program

New York, August 06, 2013 -- Moody's Investors Service has updated the enhanced ratings for 181 issuers participating in the New York State Section 99-B Intercept Program in conjunction with the release of the revised methodology, "State Aid Intercept Programs and Financing: Pre and Post Default." Moody's has also withdrawn the programmatic rating on the New York State Section 99-B Intercept Program in accordance with the new methodology. The enhanced rating outlooks of the 181 issuers are no longer under review. The outlooks vary by issuer (see link below.)

SUMMARY RATINGS RATIONALE

The enhanced ratings reflect Moody's assessment of each issuer participating in the New York State Section 99-B Intercept Program pursuant to the methodology, "State Aid Intercept Programs and Financings: Pre and Post Default." Credit considerations include availability of funds, timing of state aid payments, state aid trend, strength of notification requirement, and timing between notification and intercept. Additional credit factors include the underlying ratings of the individual localities and a debt service coverage ratio. Generally, the methodology scorecard indicates a one-notch uplift above the underlying rating for intercept participants, however this is constrained on a case-by-case basis by the "state rating cap" rating which caps these enhanced ratings at A1, two notches below the state's GO (Aa2/Stable). In one case, debt service coverage fell below 1.5x and the notching convention was lowered. In sum, Moody's has upgraded the enhanced ratings of two localities, downgraded the enhanced ratings of seven localities, and confirmed the enhanced ratings for 172 localities.

The withdrawal of the New York State Section 99-B Intercept Program's A1 rating is based on the new bottom-up rating approach, as published in the revised methodology for post-default state aid intercept programs and financings. The methodology uses the credit quality of the issuer as the basis for ratings enhanced by post-default programs; the former methodology notched down from the rating of the sponsoring state. Since the ratings for post-default programs will be maintained at the issuer or sale level, Moody's will no longer maintain programmatic ratings on the five post-default programs, including the New York State Section 99-B Intercept Program.

Please click this link to access the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list identifies each affected sale:

http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBM_PBM157218

STRENGTHS

* Intercept can be implemented for multiple years, until default is fully cured

* Most school districts receive ample annual state aid in relation to annual debt service obligations

CHALLENGES

* State aid is distributed to school districts in uneven allotments and cannot be accelerated; intercept can only occur at regularly-scheduled payment dates

* State has a history of adopting budgets late and deferring aid to schools in times of fiscal stress

* No specified party is required to notify the state of a default

* Timing and mechanics between notification of default and intercept of revenues are not as clearly laid out as other programs

OUTLOOK

An issuer's enhanced rating will carry the outlook of the issuer or the state based on which entity's rating movement would also move the enhanced rating. Currently the State of New York is rated Aa2 with a stable outlook. As post-default enhanced ratings are capped at two-notches below the state's general obligation rating, any downward movement on New York's rating will result in downward movement of the A1 enhanced ratings.

WHAT COULD MAKE THE ENHANCED RATING GO UP

-Documentation that strengthens the timing and notification requirements

-Sustained and stable positive state aid trends

-An upgrade of the district's underlying rating

-An upgrade of the state of New York's rating

WHAT COULD MAKE THE ENHANCED RATING GO DOWN

-A downgrade of the state of New York's rating

-A downgrade of the district's underlying rating

- A reduction in debt service coverage

RATING METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in this rating was State Aid Intercept Programs and Financings: Pre and Post Default published in July 2013. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Pamella Wong
Associate Analyst
Public Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Orlie Prince
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Public Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's updates enhanced ratings for 181 New York localities in conjunction with release of new methodology
No Related Data.
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