TEXT-Fitch: ballot measures could affect state and local credit

Thu Nov 1, 2012 2:11pm EDT

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Nov 1 - Fitch Ratings believes that of the 174 ballot measures to go to
voters in 37 states this November, several have the potential to directly affect
one or more of the four key state credit factors that Fitch assesses -- debt,
economy, finances, and management.

Proposals include numerous bonding authorizations, gaming expansions and a
variety of tax increases and tax limitations, according to a new Fitch report.

'November ballots will include a wide range of tax measures--from proposals for
higher rates in some states to caps or restrictions in others,' said Laura
Porter, Managing Director for state ratings at Fitch. 'The fact that so many
states are seeking voter input on taxes attests to the continued political
sensitivity of revenue raising in the current tight budgeting environment.'

Taxes are not the only hot topic this November. Several states' ballots include
measures that would repeal collective bargaining restrictions that were part of
adopted budget gap-closing plans in recent years.

Fitch notes that the prospects for passage vary considerably from state to
state. 'The credit impact of the outcome of any ballot initiative will
ultimately be influenced by management's response to any changes,' noted Porter.

For more information, a special report titled 'A Busy November Ballot for
States' is available on Fitch's web site at www.fitchratings.com.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research: A Busy November Ballot for States -
Proposals Include Both Tax Increases and Tax Caps
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