Charles County announced that all three major national bond rating agencies, Fitch Ratings, S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investor’s Service, have reaffirmed the county’s AAA bond rating.
Bond rating experts met with county leaders to review the health and stability of the county based on budget management, external audits, financial management, and economic development. This allows the county to maintain low interest rates when repaying bonds.
“Retaining our AAA Bond Rating is a clear sign of the optimal future that lies ahead for Charles County. Having all three agencies once again confirm our status as a fiscally responsible and administratively sound county is also a clear reflection of the diligent work that our dedicated staff does on a daily basis,” said Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. Charles County is resilient and on behalf of myself and fellow Commissioners it is our responsibility to continue to set policies that are equitable and reflect the needs of the community.
S&P Global Ratings report stated that the County had “Positive operations in 2022, with anticipated use of reserves for one-time expenses in fiscal 2023, while also maintaining very strong reserves and liquidity.” The S&P Global Ratings report also states, “Charles County has benefited from robust economic growth, which we expect will continue to provide strength for its main operating revenue (property and income taxes), and cover growing service demands related to climate change, demographics, and development trends, while management also actively, strategically spends down reserves.”
Moody’s evaluation cites, “The stable outlook reflects the expectation that the county’s local economy will remain strong along with its finances despite planned draws through 2024. The draws are driven by planned one-time capital project funding with no structural changes that would indicate continued declines in reserves.” The report also states, “Management’s notable financial controls are a key strength to the county’s credit profile. The fiscal 2024 General Fund budget is 3.3% greater than fiscal 2023.” For the announcement, click here.
Fitch Ratings expects “Charles County to maintain a high level of financial flexibility throughout economic cycles, consistent with historical performance and supported by superior inherent budget flexibility in the form of an unlimited legal ability to raise revenues and solid expenditure flexibility. The ‘AAA’ rating also reflects solid revenue growth prospects from a growing property tax base and a low long-term liability burden.” To view the announcement click here.
The county’s $55 million consolidated public improvements bonds are scheduled for public sale on Tuesday, Nov. 14, to fund capital improvements. Significant projects to be financed by the Bonds include: additions and renovations to Board of Education facilities ($13,500,000); renovations and additions to College of Southern Maryland facilities ($200,000); Board of Education new school construction ($10,500,000); improvements to various general government facilities ($1,400,000); various park projects ($550,000); various road and bridge improvements ($4,550,000); various watershed protection and stream restoration projects ($300,000); and various water and sewer projects ($24,000,000).