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Hartford gets another lower bond rating

Downtown Hartford

HARTFORD – In a time when some people are making the effort to revitalize Hartford, Standard and Poor’s has now lowered the city’s credit rating for a third time.

The agency views the city as essentially in default, with little prospect for a full bondholder recovery. The S&P lowered Hartford’s rating by four levels, bringing the city down from B- to CC and Moody’s lowered it two levels, bringing to CAA3.

Hartford has roughly $530 million of outstanding debt. On Monday, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin told bondholders that the city has no room left to tax or cut its way out of this financial crisis.

Bronin has said the city will declare bankruptcy if it doesn’t get additional state assistance, which is in limbo as the state budget crisis continues. Bankruptcy would require consent from Governor Dannel P. Malloy, the State Treasurer, and the state’s General Assembly.

This latest downgrade comes just two weeks after Hartford was downgraded previously to B- status.