Spotsylvania Earns AAA Rating from Fitch

by | Aug 10, 2016 | Government

Spotsylvania County’s general obligation (GO) bond rating has been upgraded to AAA by Fitch.

“This upgrade to the highest possible rating is a result of many years of sound financial decisions and policies by the board, guided by the recommendations of our finance staff and financial advisors,” said County Administrator Mark Taylor. “This sort of rating is a “scorecard‟ on how well we steward our community’s money, and it’s a big accomplishment for our whole Spotsylvania County team, and for the entire community.”

According to the Fitch press release:
– The rating reflects “the county’s strong growth prospects, low long-term liability burden, healthy reserves, and broad budgetary tools.”

– “The county’s superior budget flexibility and ample general fund balance position it to comfortably manage through economic downturns without diminishing its overall financial flexibility.”

– “The county has a pipeline of economic development projects due to the county’s economic incentives, availability of land, and skilled workforce that is expected to foster local employment opportunities. The county’s target industries include healthcare, manufacturing, high-tech/IT, defense and tourism.”

– “Employment trends are positive. Over the past four years the county has continued to add jobs and the unemployment rate remains well below the U.S. average and is generally in line with state averages.”

– “The county’s property tax rate remains competitive relative to neighboring similarly sized jurisdictions.”

– “Given the moderate economic sensitivity of the county‟s revenues and its superior inherent budget flexibility in the form of control over revenues and spending capacity, Fitch expects the county to manager through economic downturns while maintaining a high level of fundamental financial flexibility.”

County staff visited the ratings agencies in New York last week, according to Kathryn A. Smith, Spotsylvania County Government public information officer. Ratings are due from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s in the coming days. “Once the final reports are received from all three agencies, the full reports along with excerpts from the staff presentations in New York will be posted to the county‟s
website,” Smith said.

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