All three major rating agencies affirm St. Mary’s County – Conduit Street’s strong credit rating
Fitch Ratings, S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service assigned AA+ and Aa1 ratings to the 2022 series of St. Mary’s County General Bonds, deeming its fiscal outlook stable.
AA+ and Aa1 ratings keep borrowing costs low for capital projects and reflect the county’s sound fiscal policies, prudent long-term planning and robust economy. Additionally, Fitch and S&P affirmed the county’s AA+ rating on outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds.
On July 26, the county will sell $30 million of tax-exempt consolidated public improvement bonds. The Bonds are a county GO, secured by its pledge of full faith and credit. Proceeds from the bonds will fund various capital projects.
“The AA+ and Aa1 ratings confirm the sound financial policies to which the St. Mary’s County government has adhered and place the county in a strong financial position for the future,” said Commissioner-Chairman Randy Guy. “Low indebtedness and strong financial management have allowed us to enjoy strong credit ratings, which, in turn, gives our residents peace of mind knowing that their tax dollars are being managed efficiently.”
According to a county press release:
Key factors mentioned by the three rating agencies include:
1 – Strong financial position – low indebtedness, strong cash balances and increased fund balance reserves.
2 – County employment and large, growing tax base remain strong – a sustainable local economy with steady growth anchored by Naval Air Station Pax River.
3 – Fiscal flexibility with low property and income tax rates and low fixed costs for debt and retiree benefits.
4 – Formalized policies – fund balance, multi-year operating and capital budget, below debt affordability measures.
5 – Prudent budgeting – expenditure growth rate is in line with revenue growth, balance of funds used for non-recurring expenditures – in accordance with policy.
Visit the St. Mary’s County website for more information.