Highest bond rating in Washington County’s History
Hagerstown, Md. (April 8, 2014) – Washington County, Maryland Government has achieved an ‘AA+’ rating for general obligation (GO) bonds during the latest review from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.
This upgrade from an ‘AA’ rating highlights the county’s history of operating surpluses and a balanced budget for fiscal 2014. For fiscal year 2013, the County generated an operating surplus of $208,000, or 0.1% of budget.
“This increase in the County’s rating is a testament to the ability of our departments to maintain and in some instances increase services despite challenging economic times,” said County Administrator, Gregory B. Murray. “Overall our budgetary performance remains strong and the county continues to benefit from conservative and well-adhered-to fiscal policies.”
The county maintains very strong liquidity, providing very strong cash to cover debt service and expenditures, with total available cash and unrestricted investments of 76.2% of total governmental fund expenditures and more than 1,150% of debt service. The county has strong access to external liquidity because it has issued GO debt in the past.
The stable outlook also reflects S & P’s opinion of the county's stable and diverse area economy, which continues to experience increases in economic development. S & P believes the county's history of strong financial performance, supported by strong management policies and practices, has helped it maintain very strong budgetary flexibility and liquidity. S & P also believes the county will likely maintain, what they consider, it’s very strong financial profile, which consists of taxing flexibility, conservative budget policies, and low debt. As such, S & P does not expect to change the rating within the outlook’s two-year period.
To review the report in full, visit: washco-md.net/public_info/press_release/2014/04/140408_SPRating.pdf