NJ Credit Rating Downgraded 5 Times Under Christie

Image: NJ Credit Rating Downgraded 5 Times Under Christie

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 07:17 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The state of New Jersey's credit ratings have been downgraded five times since Gov. Chris Christie took office in 2010, The Washington Post reported.

Last month, Standard & Poor’s cut the state’s credit rating while also attacking the governor for his budget practices that created the problem.

With just two months to go before end of the fiscal year, last week Fitch cut its rating on the Garden State’s debt after the Christie administration reported an $807 million shortfall.

Moody’s has compounded the state’s woes by warning that it would be a "challenge" to balance the state’s budget, the Post reported. Moody’s said the state would have to make fiscal year-end cuts to large projects or borrow money from its emergency funds. Moody’s gave the state a negative credit rating outlook in December, which means more downgrades may follow.

Christie, who is a potential contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, was dealt another blow. S&P and Fitch downgraded the state’s ratings from AA- to A+, which means it is no longer considered in high-grade territory. Only California with an A and Illinois with an A- have lower ratings, according to the Post.

The problems surfaced last month after the tax filing deadline of April 15 when New Jersey revealed that personal tax revenue came in $700 million below expectations.

In its report downgrading New Jersey’s credit rating, Fitch slammed the size of the $807 million shortfall — which is equivalent to about 2.5 percent of the state’s total budget. Fitch also attacked New Jersey’s "overly optimistic revenue forecasts" and its "repeated reliance on onetime solutions to achieve budgetary balance," according to the Post.

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