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Title: Baltimore County Saves $5.9 Million by Refunding Bonds, Is Rated One of the Most Fiscally Sound Governments in the Nation

All Three Wall Street Bond Rating Agencies Award the Highest Possible Triple-A Ratings

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced today that Baltimore County saved $5.9 million by refunding $98.6 million in County bonds on November 2 and has once again earned the highest possible bond ratings from all three major rating agencies, confirming that Baltimore County is one of the best-managed municipalities in the United States. The desirable triple-A rating was awarded by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Service and Standard and Poor’s Rating Services. This triple-triple-A rating allows the County to issue its bonds at the lowest possible interest rate, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in reduced expenses.

Baltimore County is one of only 46 counties nationwide that holds triple-A ratings from all three bond rating agencies.

“Triple-A bond ratings are like a high credit score, ultimately saving Baltimore County citizens millions of dollars in interest when we borrow money through the sale of bonds to pay for things like school construction and parks and infrastructure maintenance,” said Kamenetz. “We have achieved this important distinction through strong fiscal management that means we invest in strong communities, but in a responsible way with no tax rate increases in more than two decades.”

“These bond ratings are critically important, and it is truly impressive that the County has maintained the triple-triple-A rating while investing in a historic upgrade of our schools,” said County Council Chair Tom Quirk.

Below are excerpts from each bond agency’s report:

Fitch Ratings:

The county's 'AAA' IDR reflects its broad and diverse economy, low long-term liability burden, and strong control over revenues. The county has exceptionally strong gap closing capacity through a combination of budget controls and reserve funding. Fitch expects revenue growth to be solid.

Moody’s Investor Service:

The stable outlook reflects the likelihood that the county’s fiscal position will remain sound despite annual appropriations for capital needs. While the county is projecting its fourth consecutive decrease in reserves, these draws have been because of capital-related expenditures. The outlook also incorporates the county’s sizable and growing tax base, which will continue to benefit from its strategic location and institutional strengths.

Standard and Poor’s Rating Service:

We view the county's management as very strong, with strong financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment methodology, indicating financial practices are strong, well embedded, and likely sustainable.

Revised September 11, 2017