PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (July 14, 2016)—The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) announces that three independent credit rating agencies, Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's Rating Services and Moody's Investors Services, have assigned Calvert County their highest AAA ratings due to the county's consistently sound financial operations, strong reserves, conservative fiscal policies and growing economy. This is the first time in the county's history that all three credit ratings agencies have assigned AAA ratings.
Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's reaffirmed their highest AAA ratings. Moody's previous rating of Aa1 with a positive outlook has moved to Aaa stable. Moody's Aaa rating reflects the county's sound financial position, which is strengthened by formal policies and conservative management, manageable debt and pension liabilities, a moderately-sized tax base with strong demographics and anticipated commercial tax base growth, noting that 10 of the largest commercial taxpayers account for 17.8 percent of 2015 assessed values. The rating also reflects the expectation that the county's fiscal position will remain healthy and the impact of the Dominion Cove Point liquefaction project will provide additional new revenues.
The three ratings are assigned to Calvert County's 2016 issue of consolidated public improvement bonds totaling $46,785,000 and are reaffirmed for the county's outstanding debt.
Fitch Ratings cited the following as the primary reasons for reaffirming the county's AAA stable standing: a high level of financial flexibility, low long-term liability burden, prudent expenditure management, strong income above the national average, historically low unemployment rates, and conservative management practices. The rating was also due to forecasted revenue from the Dominion Cove Point LNG expansion.
Standard & Poor's Rating Services cited the following as the primary reasons for reaffirming the county's AAA stable standing: a very strong economy, with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area (MSA), very strong management, with strong financial policies and practices, very strong budgetary flexibility, very strong liquidity, and a very strong debt and contingent liability profile.
"This outstanding news demonstrates that Calvert County remains on the right fiscal track," said BOCC President Evan Slaughenhoupt. "Achieving a triple A rating is not easy," Slaughenhoupt added. "The credit rating agencies are tough and consider numerous factors before assigning a rating. A strong credit rating reduces financing costs for our bond issues and that means significant savings to county taxpayers," Slaughenhoupt said.
"I am extremely proud of this prestigious achievement for Calvert County; an achievement that our employees and citizens share," said Terry Shannon, County Administrator. "So many people play a role in maintaining our fiscal health and I am so very proud of the excellent work this credit rating represents."
For more information on Calvert County's financial policies, please contact Tim Hayden, director of Finance and Budget, at 410-535-1600, ext. 2435, via email at email@example.com or visit online at www.co.cal.md.us.