Oneida County maintains credit rating

Published May 16, 2018 at 4:00pm

Three municipal credit rating agencies have maintained their assessments of Oneida County’s creditworthiness, and the county says it “remains in high financial standing” with “stellar credit ratings.”

Fitch Ratings has again rated Oneida County AA for 2018, while Standard and Poors repeated an AA- rating and Moody’s reaffirmed an A1 rating, the county announced Thursday.

The agencies cited “several exemplary county management factors that contributed to their decision,” according to the
county announcement.

“Strong, conservative fiscal policies of cutting spending and limiting our debt have created a strong financial foundation that allows us to invest in our community and grow our tax base,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.

“The three national credit agencies have once again confirmed our conservative approach by maintaining our stellar credit ratings,” the county executive added.

County Comptroller Joseph J. Timpano said “in this current environment of rising interest rates, maintaining our high credit ratings with these agencies helps to mitigate any significant increases in borrowing costs that may occur.”

S&P’s rating noted “strong management and good financial policies and practices,” combined with “strong budgetary performance and flexibility and institutional framework” plus “very strong debt and contingent liability position and liquidity,” the county said.

Fitch, meanwhile, attributed its rating to the county’s “superior financial resilience, modest debt burden, manageable carrying costs and relatively stable local tax base,” the county added.

Both agencies continued to proclaim the county in stable financial condition, according to the announcement.

As for Moody’s, it pointed to the county’s “large and growing tax base, large reserves on an absolute basis, affordable fixed costs and recent history of balanced operations” as the basis for its rating.

Moody’s does not generally assign financial outlooks for local governments, the county said.