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The Treasurer’s Office is holding the event in partnership with the City Council, the Hartford Public Schools, Liberty Bank, Hartford Parent University, The Children’s Museum, and Voya Financial

HARTFORD, CONN (September 25, 2023) – A Bilingual Financial Literacy Symposium will be offered, free of charge, to Hartford city employees, parents and high school students on Saturday, September 30th.  The event will be hosted by Hartford City Treasurer Carmen I. Sierra, in partnership with the City Council, the Hartford Public Schools, Liberty Bank, Voya Financial, Hartford Parent University, and The Children’s Museum.


HARTFORD, CONN (August 4, 2023) –  Today, Mayor Bronin announced that Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the City of Hartford's issuer rating to Baa3 from Ba2.

"Our team has been extremely disciplined, and we've stuck to our long-term fiscal plan," said Mayor Bronin. "We’ve budgeted carefully, we’ve generated surpluses every year, we’ve reduced the property tax rate, and we haven’t taken on a dollar of debt since 2016.  This latest upgrade by Moody’s reflects how far we've come from the full-blown fiscal crisis our team inherited, and it's a validation of the work we've done to budget with rigor and transparency -- and with a constant focus on Hartford's long-term strength.”

“This upgrade represents the hard work and efforts of the City to continually push forward in making Hartford fiscally strong and responsible," said City of Hartford Treasurer Carmen Sierra.

The Moody’s report reflects the "city’s continued financial improvement inclusive of cash and reserves that have materially increased over the last five years and are in good position to continue moderate improvement. The upgrade also recognizes the city's significantly stronger budget management practices and [Moody's] expectation that these strategies will remain entrenched in the city and survive changes in administration due, in part, to its ongoing collaboration with the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB).The city's improved governance is a key driver of the rating action."


Hartford, CT – Connecticut State Treasurer Erick Russell, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and Hartford Treasurer Carmen Sierra announced a successful $124.9 million refunding sale of City of Hartford bonds today, saving state taxpayers $13.9 million over the next ten years.

“This bond sale was the result of months of hard work by many professionals in both state and city government and will result in significant savings for taxpayers,” said Treasurer Russell. “I’m grateful for the efforts of Mayor Bronin, Hartford Treasurer Sierra, and their staffs. The city was an excellent partner in securing documentation and meeting the requirements necessary to successfully bring this first refunding bond sale to market.”

“This is a straightforward, common sense refunding that saves money for the state both short-term and long-term,” said Mayor Bronin. “Along with substantial labor concessions, contributions from our corporations, and deep cuts and restructuring, the state’s assumption of Hartford’s legacy debt obligations was a critical part of addressing Hartford’s historic fiscal crisis, and we’re glad to partner with Treasurer Russell to reduce the state’s costs under that agreement.”

“I am proud to be a key part of the team that brought about the refunding of these bonds. This transaction demonstrates Hartford's responsive and cooperative partnership with the State,” Treasurer Sierra said. “Notably, this transaction, which will save over $13 million in taxpayer dollars, was done without extending the maturity dates of the bonds or pledging property tax revenues of the City. This transaction represents what I fight for every day as the people’s Treasurer, sound fiscal policies.”

“We appreciate the collaboration with the city and the Treasurer. We expect that this bond sale will reduce fixed costs for state taxpayers. I want to thank all of those who have helped to bring today to fruition, including the staff of the Office of Policy and Management, the Treasurer’s office, and city leaders,” said Jeffrey Beckham, Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management.

This is the first sale of City of Hartford bonds under the contract assistance agreement Hartford entered into with the state in 2018. This sale of tax-exempt City of Hartford Special Obligation (State Contract Assistance) bonds will refinance six series of existing higher-interest City of Hartford general obligation bonds for debt service savings of $13.9 million over the next ten years.

Hartford and the state collaborated to identify bonds that could be refunded for savings. By refunding existing debt at lower rates, the state’s fixed costs will be lower, generating savings for taxpayers for years
to come.

Orders and Interest Cost

Orders from investors on the bond offering totaled $380.9 million, exceeding the amount of bonds offered and contributing to the 2.74% borrowing cost on the ten-year bond sale. “This sale reflects Connecticut's positive standing with investors. Efforts in recent years to strengthen our fiscal health, build reserves, and enact and maintain budgetary guardrails continue to pay dividends for taxpayers,” said Treasurer Russell. “I look forward to continuing to leverage our improved financial position to produce more long-term savings for the people of our state.”

Prior to the sale, both Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings assigned their ratings for these bonds. Moody’s rating is “Aa3” with a Stable Outlook and S&P's is “AA-” with a Stable Outlook. This reflects the State of Connecticut’s credit ratings, which are the security for these bonds.

Siebert Williams Shank and Raymond James co-led the bond underwriting syndicate that sold the bonds. The bonds are scheduled to close on May 10, 2023.

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HARTFORD, CONN (August 24, 2023) – Treasurer Sierra issued the following statement regarding the Portfolio Market Value of the Municipal Employees’ Retirement Fund (MERF) of the City of Hartford, CT.

“On June 30, 2023, the MERF’s investment portfolio was valued at $1.075 billion, up from $1.020 billion a year earlier. This increase was after the payments of pension benefits of $118.8 million.

Based on these results, the MERF’s actuary has estimated that its funded percent shown for the June 30, 2023, GASB report, which is based on the market value of assets, has risen to 66.6% from 63.10% at June 30, 2022.

These results validate our prudent investment approach which incorporates conservative positioning and an emphasis on liquidity, diversification and opportunistic risk taking. In particular, I am pleased to report that our investment approach has helped the MERF withstand the historic market turbulence of the last twelve months. I credit the Pension Commission, my investment team and the continued funding provided by the City and our employees in helping to achieve this result."

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PAU COLA Letter November 2022

Carmen I. Sierra
City Treasurer
November 10, 2022

Dear City of Hartford Pensioners,

My office has received many inquiries asking when retirees might receive a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA). I appreciate hearing from you, and I would like to take this opportunity to explain the technical process behind implementing a COLA.

First, you should know that my office does not have the legal ability to authorize a COLA. Under state statute1, the authority to create a COLA rests with the legislative body of a municipality. Therefore, the Hartford City Council must adopt an ordinance to create a COLA, which then needs to be approved by the Mayor. This has not occurred since 2007. There is no provision for an automatic COLA funded by the City's pension plan.

Earlier this year, my office proposed a COLA ordinance and submitted it to City Council for consideration. As part of the City Council process, the Operations, Management, Budget and Government Accountability Committee met on September 19, 2022 to discuss our proposed COLA. The City Council Committee postponed action on the COLA pending further discussions with Mayor Luke Bronin.

It is my hope that, after these discussions, the City Council will revisit our proposal and grant a COLA, given the retirees are those with the greatest need. _ I hope you will join me in encouraging the City Council to approve the proposed COLA - as the decision is in their hands, as well as the Mayor's.

Additional information, including the proposed COLA, as well as copies of the Hartford City Council Committee meeting minutes from September 19, 2022 and a Hartford Courant article relating to the COLA can be found on our website: www.hartfordcitytreasurer.org

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