Fitch Ratings yesterday assigned an AA+ rating to St. Mary’s County’s 2021 series of general obligation bonds, deeming its fiscal outlook as stable. The AA+ rating keeps borrowing costs low for capital projects, and reflects the County’s sound fiscal policies, prudent long-range planning, and robust economy.
In addition, Fitch has affirmed the County’s AA+ Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and the AA+ rating on approximately $96 million of outstanding GO bonds. The Rating Outlook is Stable.
On May 11, the County will sell $30 million of consolidated public improvement tax-exempt bonds. Bond proceeds will be used to pay for various capital projects.
According to the Fitch Ratings analysis:
The ‘AA+’ IDR and GO rating reflect the county’s superior gap-closing capacity underscored by its unlimited legal ability to raise revenue, solid expenditure flexibility and high reserves within the context of expected revenue volatility through economic downturns. The rating also reflects the county’s low long-term liability burden and Fitch’s expectation for natural revenue growth above the rate of inflation but below the rate of GDP growth. The county’s economy is highly concentrated in the military and specifically with Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River.