NORRISTOWN, PA—The Montgomery County Commissioners announced today that Montgomery County has received the highest bond rating—Aaa with a stable outlook—from Moody’s Investors Service for the sixth year in a row.
In its reasoning for why Montgomery County deserves to maintain the highest credit rating possible, Moody’s cited the following points in its credit opinion:
- The Aaa rating reflects Montgomery County’s solid financial position and low debt. Its economy is large and dynamic, and continues to grow, a key credit strength for the county.
- The county has exhibited strong governance in numerous ways, including adopting and adhering to a formal fund balance policy, increasing pension contributions, and raising property tax rates to achieve fiscal balance.
- With a population of about 850,000, the county is home to numerous significant employers in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and finance industries. The county is also home to eight major hospitals and 21 institutions of higher learning. Its population and tax base have shown strong growth over the past decade as the county remains an attractive community.
- The county has a strong labor force participation rate of 68%, and more than 50% of the city's adult residents hold a bachelor's degree. The county reports strong income metrics and a growing population.
- Debt may increase over the next few years as the county plans to fund about two-thirds of its nearly $900 million 5-year capital budget with bonds. Even if the full $564 million of bonds contemplated under the capital plan were issued, the county’s liabilities would still align with Aaa peers.
By securing the highest possible credit rating, Montgomery County can borrow money at the lowest interest rates possible and reduce debt serve costs. Reduced debt service allows the County to continue investing in critical infrastructure and improve services offered to Montgomery County residents.
“I am proud of our County leadership, Finance team and partners across the County who have helped us secure the highest bond rating from Moody’s Investors Service for the sixth year in a row,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr., chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “With this high-quality rating, we’re able to better leverage our taxpayer dollars for investments into long-term capital planning efforts, upgrade our aging infrastructure, and offer the vital programs and services our residents and employees need and deserve.”
Montgomery County sought the rating in anticipation of the Series A and B of 2023 bond offering on October 3, 2023. The County is seeking $151.1 million in General Obligation Bonds, Series A of 2023, to fund projects in the County’s ongoing five-year capital plan and Series B to fund the ongoing roads and bridges capital plan.
“This new bond offering confirms that the financial state of Montgomery County continues to be strong,” said Jamila H. Winder, vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “By securing the highest possible credit rating, we can ensure that public money is spent with maximum impact.”
To see a copy of Moody’s press release, click here.
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