In preparation for the bond sale, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s assigned Aaa rating to Washington County general obligation bonds.
The county’s overall credit profile is exceptionally strong, even when compared to other Aaa peers, according to Standard & Poor’s. The ratings agencies also stated that they view the county’s management as very strong, indicating financial practices are strong, well embedded, and likely sustainable. The county’s financial profile is expected to remain solid, due to conservative practices and a history of operating surpluses that have led to strong reserves, according to Moody’s.
The rating agencies also stated that the county has a stable outlook, reflecting the expectation that the county’s economic and financial performance will remain strong and the debt and pension burdens moderate, according to Moody’s.
“The entire County Board is so pleased with the county retaining its Aaa bond rating,” said Board Chair Stan Karwoski, District 2. “This highest rating reflects the excellent work of the entire county workforce and the board to protect the county’s financial health and strength and deliver excellent public services.”
“By retaining this highest rating, the county is able to borrow funds at the lowest possible interest rate, thereby reducing the overall cost of our capital improvements in the county,” said Commissioner Lisa Weik, District 5, chair of the County Board’s Finance Committee. “Only a small number of counties nationwide enjoy a Aaa rating from both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, and we are very proud to maintain that distinction since it reflects the county’s strong management practices and fiscal stewardship.”
The Aaa rating reflects a substantial tax base favorably located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, growing reserves supported by solid financial operations, and moderate long-term debt and pension burdens.