Annapolis, MD (March 24, 2014) – Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman today announced results from the three major bond-rating agencies: Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Services, which gave the County high marks for, among other factors, its structurally sound financial management, positioning for future growth, ideal location, strong workforce and above-average wealth levels.
The highest ratings were awarded by Standard & Poors with a AAA rating, which lauded the county for its strong management with good financial policies that have guided the County toward maintaining fiscal stability. Moody’s Investor Services affirmed the County’s Aa1 rating, citing the County’s sizable and relatively diverse economy and modest debt profile, balanced against the County’s narrowed financial position following several years of operating deficits and structural imbalance. Fitch Ratings assigned AA+ ratings to the County. In its ratings, Fitch praised Anne Arundel County for its return to a structurally balanced budget and adequate reserve levels which enhanced the County’s financial profile.
“We are very pleased with the ratings agencies’ faith in our County,” said County Executive Neuman. “Over this past year, we have overcome a weak economy and other factors that created instability within our County. The ratings agencies clearly noticed that we have lived within our means, made tough financial decisions and replenished our Rainy Day reserve fund without raising taxes. While I am pleased with the progress we have made, my goal for our County is a AAA rating by all three of the agencies. Until then, we will continue telling our strong financial management story.”
On March 11, County Executive Neuman, along with County Council Chairman John Grasso; Chief Administrative Officer Karen Cook; Budget Officer John Hammond; Controller Julie Mussog; and Ed Rothstein, President and CEO of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. William W. Cobbs, and Claire Cohen with the Public Resources Advisory Group, made a presentation to these ratings agencies.
“The County Executive and her team gave a presentation to the bond ratings agencies that played like a symphony,” said Council Chairman Grasso. “Taxpayers should take great pride in knowing our County is on stable footing. We have made great progress and we are in a good position now and going forward.”
(fromt the Office of the County Executive)