We find Lexington’s current debt level in line with peer communities. If Lexington were saddled with too many capital projects, it’s debt level would exceed these peers, potentially impacting it’s bond rating.


FY2016 Data on Debt for Peer Communities

Community Bond Rating Equalized Valuation (EQV) (billion) Debt (million) Debt/EQV
Lexington Aaa $9.3 bn $116 mm 1.25%
Belmont Aaa $5.8 bn $82 mm 1.4%
Brookline Aaa $17 bn $70 mm 0.4%
Concord Aaa $5.5 bn $63 mm 1.1%
Newton Aaa $22 bn $244 mm 1.1%
Wellesley Aaa $10.2 bn $151 mm 1.5%
Winchester Aaa $6.0 bn $60 mm 1.0%

While Lexington’s debt is well within bounds of peer communities before the December 2017 debt exclusion, taking on another $80 million in debt will put Lexington’s indebtedness above peer communities (about 2% of EQV). And this indebtedness occurs without addressing imminent needs such as Lexington high school and a seventh elementary school.

The figures above are from the Massachusetts municipal databank. It appears the EQV figures lag those in other state reports by one year, hence the lower figure for EQV than found in other reports for FY2016.