Atlantic County Maintains AA Rating From S&P
The rating Aa2 rating from Moody's was also upheld.
For the sixth year in a row, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) issued a AA bond rating for Atlantic County, government officials announced Tuesday morning, March 12. The county also maintained its Aa2 rating issued by Moody’s, according to officials.
The Moody’s rating is based on strong financial management and modest debt burden, supported by conservative debt management practices. According to county officials, they plan to retire 94 percent of existing debt over the next 10 years, with the debt fully paid off within the next 20.
AA is the second highest of 12 ratings S&P issues, and comes two months after County Executive Dennis Levinson discussed the impact of Superstorm Sandy and the waning casino industry as he introduced the proposed budget. The rating indicates a “very strong capacity to meet financial commitments.”
The county first received the rating in 2008, and it has been maintained ever since, county officials said.
Both groups were impressed by the growth of casino hotel occupancy, non gaming revenue and movement towards a more diversified economy, according to Levinson.
“Our ability to retain these outstanding ratings in this challenging economic climate is the result of many years of conservative fiscal policies and pay-as-you go practices,” Levinson said. “I have consistently maintained that we will not kick the can down the road and saddle our children and grandchildren with our debt.
“These ratings are also important because they help us attract lower interest rates, thus saving the county significant money on capital improvements and other needs. With so much negative news concerning the federal government, our residents can be reassured that Atlantic County is financially sound.”
Independent public accounting firms have conducted 13 consecutive perfect audits of Atlantic County, and Meadowview Nursing Home was recently found deficiency-free in its annual state inspection, according to county officials.
The Division of Public Health has also received flawless inspections during the past two years, and many members of the county’s management team have been individually recognized throughout the state for their accomplishments in the areas of law, public safety, and social services, county officials said.
“I am extremely proud of my administration, financial team and our county workforce for their dedication and pursuit of excellence,” Levinson said. “Their success results in savings for our taxpayers and greater opportunities to enhance our quality of life.”
Last year, it was announced that Galloway Township maintained its AA/Stable rating issued by S&P in 2011.