Amid the unparalleled economic interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County today announced that the three major bond rating agencies reaffirmed the County’s AAA bond rating, allowing the County to continue issuing bonds at the lowest possible interest rate—saving millions of dollars for County taxpayers.
This week Moody’s Investor Service, Fitch Ratings, and S&P Global Ratings each reaffirmed the County’s triple-A rating, making Baltimore County one of only 49 counties nationwide to receive the highest rating from all three agencies.
“Our ability to maintain top-tier financial ratings while we navigate this global pandemic speaks to our responsible fiscal management and resilient local economy,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “We have taken prudent steps to put Baltimore County on stronger fiscal footing, but we know more difficult decisions remain ahead in order to maintain our focus on meeting the basic needs and goals for our communities—without risking the County’s long-term fiscal health.”
According to a County press release:
In their reports, the rating agencies noted Baltimore County’s very strong management and diverse tax base. The ratings also incorporate financial policies and revenue enhancements that this Administration’s new management team is implementing.
Olszewski submitted his second budget on April 15, which was approved in bipartisan fashion by the County Council on May 29. The Administration’s FY21 budget made historic cuts while maintaining key investments in public education, public safety, and the County workforce, while also taking steps to support the County’s investment in the trust fund which supports retiree health care benefits—also known as Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).