July 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Moody's downgrades Mount Clemens as tax vote looms

Mount Clemens— Just two weeks before voters decide whether to allow Mount Clemens to increase its millage rate, Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the city, which has $25.3 million in outstanding debt.

Moody downgraded the city’s issuer rating from Aa3 to A2 and downgraded $750,000 of secured general obligation limited tax debt from A1 to A3.

“The good news is the city has no plans to issue debt in the near term so the downgrade will not add any costs,” said Robert Bruner, interim city manager. “The bad news is that this downgrade confirms a financial emergency exists in Mount Clemens and the community has only one more chance to avoid state intervention. I encourage voters to choose wisely on Aug. 5.”

In March, the city commission voted to place a charter amendment on the Aug. 5 ballot that would allow Mount Clemens to raise its maximum property tax rate from 15 mills to 20 mills.

If the charter amendment fails, Bruner said if he is still the city manager, he will ask the state to conduct a preliminary review to determine if a financial emergency exists.

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