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updated: 11/11/2013 4:42 PM

Fitch downgrades Chicago bond ratings

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Fitch Ratings has downgraded the credit worthiness of Chicago's bond debt because of its public pension problems.

Fitch dropped the rating from AA- to A- on $8 billion in general obligation bonds, backed by property taxes.

It also dropped the rating on $497 million in sales tax bonds -- paid for by both the city's local sales tax and its share of the state sales tax. And the rating was downgraded on $200 million in commercial paper notes, financed by a general obligation pledge from any available city fund.

Friday's downgrade stems from "the lack of meaningful solutions" to the city's pension situation. City and fire pension programs have no more than 30 percent of the money needed to cover obligations.

The downgrade makes it more expensive to borrow money.

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