Key Concepts


Obligor Roll-up

Muni Atlas Research supports 49,000 unique obligors that ever issued municipal debt. Unlike other databases that roll-up to Issuer, our data also rolls up to the Obligor Level to provide unique and actionable insights. Each obligor is defined with unique sector classification and geographic coverage.

Atlas Sector Classification

Muni Atlas Research provides a sector classification for each obligor. We support 58 different sectors that cover local municipalities, local government agents, education institutions, utility districts, and various non-profit organizations.

Obligation Classification

Each muni issue is secured by a specific revenue source of a particular obligor. It could be the obligor’s general obligation, specific tax revenue, or through the revenue income of certain services it provides. Muni Atlas Research supports 27 different obligation types, such as general obligation, special assessment, tax incremental income, lease agreement, utility revenue, toll income, tobacco income, gaming tax, sales tax, health care income, and so on. Each issue is assigned with a unique obligation type.
Please note that an obligor could have multiple issues with different obligation types.

Overlapping Debt

A target obligor’s overlapping debts are debts issued by other obligors, but have geographic overlap with the target obligor.
Let's consider two obligors: (1)City of Naperville and (2)Naperville Community School District 203. The school district overlaps with part of the City of Naperville, and it also overlaps with part of Village of Woodridge, Lisle, and Bolingbrook. Based on the geographic boundaries and demographic information of the City of Naperville and Naperville Community Unit District 203, we estimate that about 64.2% of School District 203’s debt obligation is carried on the shoulders of the City of Naperville residents.
Similar to Naperville Community School District 203, there are dozens of other obligors that have some level of overlapping with the City of Naperville. These obligors include local governments including counties (DuPage County and Will County), state government (State of Illinois), agents like other school districts (Indian Prairie School District 204, Valley View School District 365U), park districts (Naperville Park District, DuPage Forest Preserve District), a local airport authority (DuPage County Airport Authority), a local development agent (Will-Kankakee Regional Development Authority), a community college (College of DuPage), and so on.

Total Debt

An obligor’s total debt includes its direct debt, as well as a certain percentage of debt issued by overlapping obligors:
●    Obligor’s direct debt
●    Debt issued by the local governments or agents that overlap with the target obligor
●    Debt issued by the state governments or agents that overlap with the target obligor
Note the debt amount of each issue is net of bond call and/or advanced refunding. General obligation debt and revenue supported debt are aggregated separately.

Atlas Credit Score

The Atlas credit score is an unbiased, quantitative credit measurement for an obligor. It is measured from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). The Atlas Credit Score uses 24 individual credit factors from two factor groupss: (1)obligor financial health and (2)local micro-economic/demographic condition.

Point-in-time Database

The Atlas point-in-time database structure provides a mechanism for investors to get a snapshot of our muni database based on a given date, without being impacted by any corresponding market activities after this given date. This point-in-time database structure provides an opportunity for investors to model their investment strategy, as well as back-test their model.
Atlas: Muni Investment Research Specialist