Fitch Ratings Inc. recently upgraded Wicomico County’s bond rating from AA- to AA in preparation for an upcoming bond sale. From the County’s press release,
Fitch’s ratings boost follows similar upgrades issued last year by the other two rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s. The rating further defines the county’s Rating Outlook as “stable.” In a press release from Fitch, the county was praised for having a “strong financial profile including revenue and spending flexibility as well as robust reserves.” Other components of the upgrade referred to “strong fiscal management, favorable debt position, well-managed long-term liabilities and conservative budgeting and revenue enhancements.”
Specifically, Fitch noted, “The county has prudently increased the property tax rate to offset pressures stemming from ongoing declines in taxable assessed value and continued to budget conservatively.” Also, “favorable operations are mostly due to conservative expenditure budgeting and revenue enhancements made during the budgeting process.”
The bonds will be used to finance the completion of Bennett Middle School and other capital projects.