Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The bond ratings are in and Bernalillo County retains its AAA credit rating - the highest rating possible. All three bond rating agencies, Fitch, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s gave the county AAA ratings.
“This is an A+ in the financial world,” says Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins. “This puts Bernalillo County in the top tier of counties in the United States that have received a AAA rating. This accomplishment is a testament to the county’s ability to responsibly manage taxpayer resources during these challenging economic times.”
Bond ratings are important to government agencies because the higher the bond rating the lower the interest rates that the county will receive when selling bonds to finance voter-approved bond projects.
“This is a big deal,” says County Manager Tom Zdunek. “Tomorrow morning, the county is selling a $17.8 million bond package to finance road, library, parks and public safety initiatives. The county will incur less debt over time because of lower interest rates directly related to the AAA rating.”
The county will have 15 years to pay back the $17.8 million to investors who will bid on and purchase the bonds. The cash will be used to finance projects that Bernalillo County voters approved during the 2010 and 2012 general obligation bond elections.
There are a number of factors that influence a government agency’s bond rating. The bond rating companies look at the county’s financial policies and practices, the budget, debt burden, the stability of the local economy and the overall quality of life for residents in the county.
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