County Bond Rating Raised
On the basis of “sound operating performance” and a “stable outlook,” Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Services raised the rating on Montgomery County’s general obligation (GO) debt from AA to AA+ on February 9, 2018.
“The county prides itself on being fiscally responsible with the tax payer’s money. This upgrade in our S&P rating is a direct reflection on our collective efforts to continue managing the county’s finances efficiently,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Chris Tuck.
The AA+ rating given due to the county’s diverse, stable and growing economic base is the second highest ranking given by S&P, second only to an AAA rating. Montgomery County is one of 19 out of the 95 counties in Virginia that have received an AA+ or AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s.
“The fact that we have been able to achieve such a high ranking by S&P is not only an acknowledgement of the county’s sound financial practices, but it is also exactly what the county needs in order to fund future school capital projects and other county needs and initiatives,” said Vice Chair April DeMotts.
In addition, S&P Global Ratings raised Montgomery County’s lease revenue debt outstanding rating from AA- to AA, supported by the county’s appropriations.
“It is one thing for me to state that we have dedicated and talented staff here at the county; however, having S&P validate that fact is something of which both county staff and county citizens can take pride,” said County Administrator, Craig Meadows.
“Our staff spends countless hours guaranteeing our financial stability here in Montgomery County. We value our conservative budgeting practices as well as our strong financial operations. These values are precisely how we have achieved this outstanding rating from S&P.” said Meadows.
According to S&P Global Rating credit analyst, Timothy Barrett, “The upgrade reflects our view of the county’s sound operating performance and the maintenance of very strong budgetary flexibility despite sizable annual transfers out of the general fund to the capital projects fund for pay-as-you-go capital expenditures. The upgrade also reflects the county’s continued economic growth and diversification,” Barrett added.
The county’s rating was upgraded based on the county’s “strong economy” combined with the county’s ‘local stabilizing institutional influence; very strong management, with strong financial policies and practices; adequate budgetary performance; very strong budgetary flexibility; very strong liquidity; adequate debt and contingent liability position; and very strong institutional framework score.”
To learn more about S&P’s ratings, visit www.spratings.com/en_US/understanding-ratings.