Oklahoma’s credit quality is looking up, rating agencies say, with Fitch Ratings joining Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings in revising the state’s rating outlook to positive from stable.
Fitch, which rates Oklahoma AA, said Friday the revision reflects sustained improvements in expenditure flexibility and overall fiscal management, “particularly its adherence to conservative budgeting practices through economic cycles including the recent period of revenue volatility caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”
“The state has consistently taken timely action to address revenue shortfalls and budgets only 95% of projected operating revenues,” it added.
Moody’s, which rates Oklahoma Aa2,
State Treasurer Todd Russ said Oklahoma has worked to diversify its economy, lower its debt, and “stand strong as a leader in many industries.”
“Oklahoma has long been the best-kept secret, and the secret is out,” he said in a statement. “Fitch, S&P, and Moody’s all see that, and their positive ratings prove it.”
The outlook revisions come as Oklahoma is avoiding debt issuance by tapping a $600 million
Three projects totaling $135 million that had been slated for bond issuance through the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority were authorized for these loans, according to the treasurer’s office.
As of the end of 2023, Oklahoma had no general obligation bonds outstanding, according to the annual state debt report. Lease revenue bonds issued through OCIA had outstanding principal of $1.336 billion.
The Republican governor
Oklahoma’s tax revenue could be adversely impacted by
A decision by the high court, which heard oral arguments Jan. 17, can come at any time. In a court filing, the Oklahoma Tax Commission said a tax exemption for tribal members would result in “tens of millions of dollars in tax refunds and deprive the state of billions more in future taxes.”