Thursday, November 7, 2013

Montgomery County Retains AAA Bond Rating From All Three Rating Agencies


Montgomery County learned on Oct. 28 that all three bond rating agencies—Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s—reconfirmed that the it has retained its AAA bond rating.

County Council President Nancy Navarro, Council Vice President Craig Rice and County Executive Isiah Leggett recently traveled to New York City to meet with representatives of the bond rating agencies and explain steps the County has taken to maintain its financial health during the Great Recession of recent years and as the nation has begun to recover.

 The AAA bond rating allows Montgomery County to issue bonds for its capital borrowing at the most favorable rates, saving County taxpayers millions of dollars over the life of the bonds.  The County's pending issuance will refinance $295 million of bond anticipation notes and $27.7 million of long-term debt.

Montgomery County is only one of 38 counties (out of 3,140) in the nation to receive a AAA rating from all three rating agencies.

Council President Navarro, who has chaired the Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee since 2010, said the following after learning the AAA bond rating was confirmed:

“During the Great Recession, the Council took extraordinary steps to strengthen Montgomery County’s fiscal health. Starting in 2010, the Council approved a balanced six-year fiscal plan that ensures the County develops a long-term strategic approach to budgeting. The Council also made structural changes that have enabled Montgomery County to bounce back faster than most jurisdictions nationwide.

 “This decision by the rating agencies is a reflection of the hard work of this Council and the County Executive. During the most challenging economic times, we developed a proactive strategy to put our fiscal house in order for the future.

“The land-use decisions the Council has made over the past few years—to invest in smart-growth opportunities and encourage redevelopment in all corners of the County—will create a strong tax base for years to come.

“Since I joined the Council, we have closed a cumulative $2.7 billion budget gap, slowed the rate of growth in expenditures and put our County on a sustainable fiscal path. As our economic recovery continues, this decision today by the rating agencies demonstrates that Montgomery County is moving in the right direction.”