The Tools We Use Evolve and Improve Over Time… Is Your Finance Office Using the Latest Tools To Best Serve Your Taxpayers?

By William Cherry Former County Treasurer and current Director of Public Partnerships at three+one Technology has changed our world in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago and it has vastly improved the tools that we use in our daily lives. For example, advances in communications technology have transformed cell phones from an occasional convenience item to now being a basic necessity of daily life in America. The tools that we use…

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Frederick Completes Historic Bond Sale

Frederick County this week sold $154.5 million in new tax-exempt bonds at a historically low interest rate, a direct reflection of the County’s recent AAA credit rating from all three major financial rating agencies. The tax-exempt bonds sold at an interest rate of 1.57 percent -- the lowest rate in County history. In addition, the County refinanced $30.9 million of 2013 and 2016A taxable bonds at an interest rate of 1.82 percent, which will save…

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MACo OPEB Trust Offers Plug-and-Play Solution for Healthcare Liabilities

The MACo OPEB Investment Trust - designed to help counties put current assets to work toward long-term health care liabilities - is performing well, delivering healthy returns, and serving member needs. Trustees convened this week for a quarterly remote meeting to review its performance and management. The Board of Trustees of the MACo OPEB Investment Trust convened a quarterly meeting via WebEx on September 10. In addition to reviewing investment strategy and performance, and discussing…

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Frederick Earns Three AAA Bond Ratings

Today, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced that the three major bond rating agencies reaffirmed the County’s AAA bond rating. The ratings -- issued by Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s -- keep borrowing costs low for capital projects and reflect the County’s sound fiscal policies, prudent long-range planning, and robust economy. In addition, the County plans to refinance old bonds at a lower rate, which will save an estimated $500,000. https://twitter.com/JanGardnerExec/status/1433505587073978377 “Frederick County can…

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Cecil County Maintains AA+ and Aa2 Bond Ratings

Today, Standard & Poor's Global Rating Services (S&P) and Moody’s Investors Service assigned AA+ rating and Aa2 rating to Cecil County’s 2021 series of general obligation bonds, deeming its fiscal outlook as stable. The ratings keep borrowing costs low for capital projects and reflect the County’s sound fiscal policies, prudent long-range planning, and robust economy. The rating agencies emphasized Cecil County’s growing economy, sound financial position, and strong management practices. Standard & Poor's rating stated: We view…

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Deadline Approaching for Counties to Submit ARPA Reports to U.S. Treasury

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) Program provides a substantial infusion of resources to communities working to turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. Counties that receive funding from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund must meet compliance and reporting responsibilities. On August 31, both the Interim Report and the Recovery Plan Performance Report are due to the U.S. Department…

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Montgomery Earns Three AAA Bond Ratings

Last week, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council President Tom Hucker announced that the three major bond rating agencies reaffirmed the County’s AAA bond rating. The ratings from Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s reflect the County’s status as one of the top-rated issuers of municipal securities, with the highest credit rating possible for a local government. The ratings keep borrowing costs low for capital projects and reflect the County’s sound fiscal policies,…

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NACo to Host Virtual Meetups for County Leaders to Discuss ARPA Funding

On May 10, the U.S. Department of Treasury released an Interim Final Rule (IFR) on the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund), part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The ARPA includes $65.1 billion in direct, flexible aid to every county in America and other crucial investments in local communities. On July 16, NACo submitted comments on Treasury’s IFR that provides key recommendations to ensure the successful implementation and execution of the Recovery…

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Fitch Affirms Maryland’s AAA Rating for $858 Million Bond Sale

Fitch Ratings affirmed Maryland’s AAA bond rating in advance of the upcoming competitive sale of State general obligation (GO) bonds. Fitch Ratings assigned a AAA rating to the following GO bonds, state and local facilities loan of 2021, second series: $540 million series A, tax-exempt bonds (competitive) $75 million series B, tax-exempt current refunding bonds (competitive) $116 million series C, taxable advance refunding bonds (negotiated, forward delivery) $126 million second series D, tax-exempt refunding bonds…

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Pandemic Spending Workgroup to Review MD Labor COVID Relief Programs

Maryland Department of Labor will provide details on COVID relief aid. The Comptroller's Workgroup on Pandemic Spending will hold its third meeting on Thursday, July 29, at 1:30 p.m. to continue its review of state and federal COVID-related spending. David McGlone, deputy secretary for the Maryland Department of Labor, will overview pandemic relief programs funded by state or federal dollars and administered by the department. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Comptroller’s Workgroup on Pandemic Spending…

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