Fitch Investors Service Inc. downgraded New Jersey's $3.3 billion of outstanding general obligation debt yesterday to AA-plus from AAA.

The rating change, which also applies to today's sale of $1.6 billion refunding bonds, was a result of the state's "complicated" financial situation, higher taxes to fund an ambitious education program, and the subsequent tax revolt in the state, said Claire G. Cohen, executive vice president at Fitch.

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