For the 14th consecutive year, Howard County has been awarded a AAA credit bond rating from all three major bond rating agencies. These credit ratings determine the interest rates that counties must pay on their bonds; the higher the score, the lower the interest rate and the easier it is for counties to pay off their debts. From ExploreHoward.com:
“We have taken proactive steps to ensure Howard County stays on the right fiscal track, and while it is always an achievement to receive the highest possible rating from all three agencies, we never take it for granted,” County Executive Ken Ulman said in a statement.
According to the county, fewer than 1 percent of all counties in the country receive a AAA rating from all three agencies — Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investor Service.
In deciding the county’s bond rating, the agencies look at its tax base, financial policies, debt burden, economic strengths and long-range plans for fiscal health.
The rating agencies all had positive things to say about Howard.
“Maintenance of sound reserves and financial flexibility despite revenue softening reflect the county’s strong financial management,” Fitch ratings stated.