03.14.12 Howard County Secures AAA Rating from all Three Bond Rating Agencies
March 14, 2012
Media Contacts: Kathy Sloan-Beard, Deputy Director, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Stan Milesky, Director, Department of Finance, 410-313-2195
Howard County Secures AAA Rating from all Three Bond Rating Agencies
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announces that Howard County has again received a Triple-A credit rating from all three bond rating agencies – Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's Investor Services. Of the more than 3,000 counties in the country, fewer than 30 receive Triple-A rating from all three agencies.
“While this is the 15th consecutive year Howard County has earned a Triple-A rating, we never take it for granted,” said County Executive Ulman. “It’s great to be in the top one percent of counties nationwide who are judged to be doing the right thing when it comes to developing sound fiscal policies, budgeting conservatively and finding ways to do more with less.”
Moody’s reported the assignment of their “highest quality rating reflects the county’s sizeable economic base and wealthy demographic profile, a sound financial position supported by proactive management, comprehensive fiscal policies, satisfactory fund balance levels and an affordable debt burden.”
Fitch Ratings commented, “The County is among the wealthiest in the nation, featuring a highly educated workforce employed throughout a deep and diverse economy led by the federal government and defense build-up at Fort Meade, a major driver of long-term regional growth.”
Standard & Poor’s noted the rating reflects a view of “the County's vibrant and diverse local economy…large and diverse property tax base…very strong wealth and income…low and manageable debt…substantial, but well-managed, capital improvement program.”
“We are always pleased to receive this highest designation, Triple-A, from all three of the national rating agencies. It affirms, through independent evaluation and judgment, that Howard County government is meeting and exceeding the highest standards established on behalf of our citizens,” said Stan Milesky, Howard County’s Director of Finance.
All three agencies examined Howard County’s diverse tax base, financial policies, debt burden and long-range plans for continued fiscal health, economic strengths and overall quality of life. These credit ratings determine the interest rate Howard County will pay on bonds. In preparation for the County’s upcoming $60 million bond sale, scheduled for March 20th, the County visited with all three rating agencies at the end of February.
Once received, the full bond rating reports will be posted on the County’s website at www.howardcountymd.gov.