Moody’s cuts Coast city’s credit rating, cites cash reserves

GULFPORT — A credit agency has cut Gulfport’s rating by a notch.

Moody’s Investors Service says the city’s cash reserves are suffering because of hurricane recovery projects the city hasn’t collected federal money for and because sales tax collections are lagging.

John Kelly, Gulfport’s chief administrative officer, tells the Sun Herald the lower rating means the city could pay more if it wants to borrow money. But the city doesn’t currently have any borrowing plans.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency owes Gulfport $15 million for projects completed to help the city recover from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

Kelly says $7 million of that amount is “in the pipeline” and could arrive soon.

Sales tax collections, which make up 40 percent of the revenue of Mississippi’s second-largest city have also fallen.

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