The three major bond rating agencies – Moody’s Investor Service, Standards and Poor’s Rating Services and Fitch Ratings – again issued Baltimore County a AAA bond rating. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the agencies provided the following comments on the county’s fiscal health.
Fitch noted the county’s “broad and diverse economy” with federal agencies, health care jobs, financial services institutions and colleges as a strength, as well as declining unemployment rates and a growing population.
The county government’s reserve funds are strong and the county has a history of “conservative budgeting practices,” Fitch wrote.
Moody’s also noted that the county has a “sizable and diverse tax base that will continue to benefit from its strategic geographic location and institutional strengths.” Moody’s noted that the county’s bond rating could go down if the county’s reserve funds are used up, if the county borrows from its pension fund or if the federal government’s ratings are downgraded.
Standard & Poor’s said it doesn’t plan to review the county’s bond ratings for two years because it believes the county’s finances are in solid shape.
The county recently sold $200 million in bonds at an interest rate of 3%.