On April 1, Moody’s Investor Service Inc. removed Queen Anne’s County from the “negative watch” and gave it a Aa2 rating. And although the negative outlook has been removed, the county received an interest rate of 3.16, which was lower than projected. Last year, Fitch Ratings revised the AA+ rating from negative to stable with the bond agencies attributing the better credit scores to better financial management.
“The removal of the negative outlook reflects the county’s improved financial position,” according to the report. “Since fiscal 2011, the county has increased its General Fund balance by 175% through implementation of various expenditure cuts and revenue raising strategies including increasing the property and income tax rates in fiscal 2012. Going forward, we expect the county to maintain a satisfactory position supported by conservative management and recently instituted formal financial and debt policies.”
County Commission President Philip Dumenil said in a prepared statement: “When we took office we inherited a projected $18 million budget deficit and the potential of seeing the county’s AA+ bond rating downgraded. This Board of Commissioners made dramatic budget cuts, increased revenues and re-established our Rainy Day Fund.”
“Now two years later, we have returned the county to financial stability and showed a full understanding of the level of financial wellness we need to maintain our bond rating,” Commissioner David Dunmyer said in a news release. “Having ‘credit watch’ lifted from the rating of the county was an indicator of the improvement in our financial position…”
When looking to future bond sales, the higher credit rating and lower interest rate is expected to save Queen Anne’s County between $350,000 to $400,000, according to county Finance Director Jonathan Seeman.
To read the full story on Queen Anne’s County’s bond ratings, visit myeasternshoremd.com.