The country’s major bond rating agencies have again affirmed Loudoun County’s triple-A rating on its general bonds, noting the county’s strong operational performance, the size and diversity of its tax base and its strong management, according to a May 19 announcement.
Loudoun County has held a AAA rating from Moody’s since 2004, and AAA from Fitch Ratings and S&P Global since 2005, the announcement said. The three rating agencies also affirmed Loudoun’s AA+ and AA1 ratings on the upcoming sale of public facilities revenue bonds through the Economic Development Authority, as well as on rental income and bonds -recipes in progress.
“Loudoun’s consistently sound and responsible tax practices are key to achieving these highest scores,” Supervisory Board Chair Phyllis J. Randall, D-At Large, said in a prepared statement. “I am pleased that these agencies recognize our careful stewardship of taxpayers’ money, allowing us to leverage these credit scores for the benefit of the county.”
Fitch Ratings noted the county’s “very strong” operating performance, supported by strong revenue growth and strong spending flexibility, a moderate long-term liability burden and a strong expected economic outlook.
Moody’s noted the county’s large, diverse, and growing tax base with strong income and wealth indicators, a very stable financial position supported by proactive management, and formal policies and manageable long-term liabilities.
S&P’s Global noted the county’s historically strong financial performance, underpinned by conservative budgets and predictable revenues, low overall net debt with manageable additional capital requirements despite an extensive capital improvement program, a comprehensive suite of policies and formalized financial practices and a very solid institutional framework.
“Once again, Loudoun’s strong financial management, low debt profile and diversified economy have been recognized with the highest possible credit ratings,” said Leesburg Supervisor Kristen Umstattd, D, and chair of the board’s finance committee, in a prepared statement.
“It should be noted that in the second year of the pandemic, Wall Street recognizes that the Loudoun Board of Directors and county staff continued to maintain financial flexibility while carefully managing the finances and program of county capital assets,” she said.
The AAA rating is important to the county government and taxpayers because it helps the county continue to earn the best possible interest rates to fund capital projects, saving millions of dollars, the announcement said. The reaffirmation comes ahead of the county’s upcoming sale of general obligation bonds and public facilities revenue bonds through the EDA, the proceeds of which will be used for school and general government projects.