Fitch Ratings has upgraded Bethel's bond rating. Bethel's bond rating from Fitch has been upgraded to 'AAA' from 'AA+'. The Rating Outlook is Stable.
Fitch says the upgrade reflects continued improvement in the town's financial performance and the town's low long-term liability burden coupled with exceptional financial operations. Fitch says Bethel has positioned itself to withstand the challenges associated with a moderate economic downturn. Fitch noted that generally conservative budgeting and steady, moderate tax rate increases have allowed revenues to keep pace with spending growth, yielding very stable financial results and modest operating surpluses.
The bulk of the town's spending is related to education (65% of general fund expenditures) followed by public works (18%). Fitch says total spending has increased at a manageable pace in recent years, maintaining alignment with revenue performance.