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Port of Vancouver, WA -- Moody's assigns Aa2 to Port of Vancouver, WA's 2022A&B GOLT bonds

·12 min read

Rating Action: Moody's assigns Aa2 to Port of Vancouver, WA's 2022A&B GOLT bondsGlobal Credit Research - 01 Sep 2022New York, September 01, 2022 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned Aa2 ratings to the Port of Vancouver, WA's Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds, 2022A (AMT) and Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds, 2022B (Non-AMT). The expected par amounts are $15.8 million and $8.7 million, respectively. Moody's maintains the port's Aa2 issuer rating and the Aa2 rating on the outstanding general obligation limited tax (GOLT) debt. The issuer rating is the equivalent of a hypothetical unlimited tax general obligation (GOULT) rating; there is no debt associated with the GOULT security. Inclusive of the current issuance, the port will have about $49.9 million of GOLT debt outstanding.RATINGS RATIONALEThe Aa2 issuer rating reflects the port's large, growing and diverse tax base that benefits from its integration to the Portland-Vancouver metro area. The rating also incorporates the port's healthy liquidity and sound financial metrics that remained strong through the pandemic. The rating is constrained by the port's moderately high debt burden, though this is mitigated by sound coverage of GOLT bond debt service from the property tax levy. The port has a manageable capital program, and its pension liabilities are modest.The absence of a rating distinction between the port's Aa2 issuer rating and its Aa2 limited tax general obligation rating reflects the strength and broadness of the full faith and credit pledge in Washington.RATING OUTLOOKMoody's does not typically assign outlooks to local governments with this amount of debt.FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OF THE RATINGS - Material tax base growth and improvement in resident income - Substantial growth of operations and liquidity- Reduction in long-term liabilitiesFACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO A DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS- Substantial tax base contraction and decline in resident income- Material reduction in demand for port services leading to weakened financial profile- Significant growth in long-term liabilitiesLEGAL SECURITYThe GOLT bonds are secured by the full faith and credit of the port district within the constitutional and statutory limitations of non-voter approved debt.USE OF PROCEEDSBond proceeds will finance the construction, improvement and equipping of port facilities, property and related demolition, including berth rehabilitation and modernization, bank stabilization and trail construction.PROFILEThe Port of Vancouver is located on the north shore of the Columbia River and includes the City of Vancouver (Aa2), a portion of the City of Camas (Aa2) and a quarter of Clark County, WA (Aa1). The port is the third largest in the state and operates five marine terminals with depth of 43 feet. In addition, the port offers more than 2.7 million square feet of warehouse space, including over 600,000 of waterfront space for industrial, manufacturing and distribution operations.METHODOLOGYThe principal methodology used in these ratings was US Local Government General Obligation Debt published in January 2021 and available at https://ratings.moodys.com/api/rmc-documents/70015. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on https://ratings.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.REGULATORY DISCLOSURESFor further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found on https://ratings.moodys.com/rating-definitions.For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security 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 credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit 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 issuer/deal page for the respective issuer on https://ratings.moodys.com.Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at https://ratings.moodys.com/documents/PBC_1288235.Please see https://ratings.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 issuer/deal page on https://ratings.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating. James Kelley Lead Analyst REGIONAL_WEST Moody's Investors Service, Inc. 405 Howard Street Suite 300 San Francisco 94105 JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376 Client Service: 1 212 553 1653 Heather Guss Additional Contact REGIONAL_SOUTHWEST JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376 Client Service: 1 212 553 1653 Releasing Office: Moody's Investors Service, Inc. 250 Greenwich Street New York, NY 10007 U.S.A JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376 Client Service: 1 212 553 1653 © 2022 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS AFFILIATES ARE THEIR CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND INFORMATION PUBLISHED BY MOODY’S (COLLECTIVELY, “PUBLICATIONS”) MAY INCLUDE SUCH CURRENT OPINIONS. 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