Fitch: Multiple Ballot Measures Could Affect State and Local Credit
Fitch Ratings believes that of the 174 ballot measures to go to voters in 37 states this November, several have the potential to directly affect one or more of the four key state credit factors that Fitch assesses -- debt, economy, finances, and management.
Proposals include numerous bonding authorizations, gaming expansions and a variety of tax increases and tax limitations, according to a new Fitch report.
'November ballots will include a wide range of tax measures--from proposals for higher rates in some states to caps or restrictions in others,' said Laura Porter, Managing Director for state ratings at Fitch. 'The fact that so many states are seeking voter input on taxes attests to the continued political sensitivity of revenue raising in the current tight budgeting environment.'
Taxes are not the only hot topic this November. Several states' ballots include measures that would repeal collective bargaining restrictions that were part of adopted budget gap-closing plans in recent years.
Fitch notes that the prospects for passage vary considerably from state to state. 'The credit impact of the outcome of any ballot initiative will ultimately be influenced by management's response to any changes,' noted Porter.
For more information, a special report titled 'A Busy November Ballot for States' is available on Fitch's web site at www.fitchratings.com.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research: A Busy November Ballot for States - Proposals Include Both Tax Increases and Tax Caps