July 13 - Fitch Ratings has affirmed the 'AAA' rating on the following Colleyville, Texas (the city) limited tax general obligation (GO) debt: --$4.4 million outstanding GO bonds, series 2007; --$4.8 million outstanding combination tax and tax increment refunding bonds (TIF bonds), series 2011; --$2.1 million outstanding GO refunding bonds, series 2011. The Rating Outlook is Stable. SECURITY The GOs and TIF bonds are secured and payable from ad valorem taxes levied against all taxable property located within the city, subject to a $2.50 per $100 assessed valuation limitation imposed by the state constitution and city charter. The TIF bonds are additionally secured by a lien and pledge of certain tax increment revenues of the city. KEY RATING DRIVERS HEALTHY FINANCIAL PROFILE: The city's financial profile remains very healthy as evidenced by strong reserve levels, ample liquidity, conservative budgeting practices, and strong financial policies. SOLID TAX BASE: The city has an affluent tax base that is primarily residential in nature. Taxable assessed values (TAV) have held relatively steady during the downturn with only a modest decline in fiscal 2012. The expansion of State Highway 26, which traverses the city, provides positive indication for future commercial growth. MANAGEABLE DEBT BURDEN: Direct debt levels are expected to remain modest given manageable capital plans and rapid amortization of existing debt, although overall debt levels are moderately high due to overlapping school district debt. BROAD AND DIVERSE ECONOMY: The city is part of the broad and diverse Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area (MSA) economy and employment base. Local wealth levels as measured by median household income are nearly 300% the national average. CREDIT PROFILE Colleyville is an upper income community located in the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA, approximately 11 miles northeast of Fort Worth. The city has an estimated population of nearly 23,000 and anticipates reaching a full build-out population of 26,000 in the next 10 to 15 years. The city limits cover approximately 13 square miles and its tax base of nearly $3.9 billion is primarily residential. The city's efforts to attract more retail and commercial development have been met with success, helping to diversify the city's revenue stream and tax base. With additional shopping and entertainment venues as well as office space, the city's retail activity has generated healthy sales tax revenue growth. The city continues to focus on promoting economic development in the community to further diversify its tax base. SOUND FINANCIAL POSITION The city's financial position remains healthy despite the recent challenges of the economic recession and the city's life cycle shift from rapid growth to nearing full build-out. Sales tax revenue growth has offset declines in building permits and licenses, while property tax receipts, which account for approximately 60% of general fund sources, continue to perform well benefiting from TAV growth and collection rates of 99% on a total basis. The city's tax rate has held steady at $0.356 per $100 TAV, which is comparable to surrounding communities. The unreserved general fund balance has historically been maintained well above the city's 25% of spending policy. At the close of fiscal 2011, the unrestricted general fund balance (committed, assigned, and unassigned per GASB 54) was $10.9 million, representing a very strong 61.9% of spending. The budget is balanced for fiscal 2012 and management reports performance is tracking well within budget. The city plans to spend down some of its fund balance periodically for one time capital outlays. HIGH OVERALL DEBT BURDEN; LIMITED CAPITAL NEEDS The direct debt burden is manageable, although the sizeable debt of overlapping school districts raises the overall per capita debt to the high category. Debt retirement is rapid at 85% in 10 years. Fitch considers future capital needs manageable, and the city does not anticipate any additional tax-supported borrowings in the near term. Pension benefits are provided through the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS), a statewide agent multiple employer plan. The city's funding position is a robust 105% as of December 2011. Other post-employment benefits offered to retirees is limited to group life insurance of up to $7,500. This benefit is also offered through TMRS and the city has historically funded 100% of its annual required contribution, thus this plan is also fully funded. STABLE ECONONMY Despite being nearly built-out and a marked contraction of new construction over the last two fiscal years, the city's tax base has held up well. TAV declined modestly (0.3%) in fiscal 2012, but overall has held its valuation from fiscal 2010 levels. Certified estimates for fiscal 2013 reflect about 2% growth, but this does not reflect the impact of pending appeals. Wealth levels as measured by median household income are nearly three times that of the national level.