Gwinnett again gets top ratings for refinancing bonds
– November 21, 2019
Gwinnett County’s finances again placed in the top two percent of all U.S. counties after getting the highest possible scores from all three major ratings agencies for the 22nd consecutive year.
Board of Commissioners Charlotte Nash said the ratings are a strong vote of confidence by independent experts that Gwinnett County is well-managed, fiscally strong and a solid investment.
“The rating agencies conduct an intense review of our finances, operations, and policies. These stellar ratings are very difficult to achieve,” she said.
The AAA/Aaa ratings came after the County’s Water and Sewerage Authority sought in September to refinance $128.5 million in bonds issued in 2009. They expect to save about $20 million over the life of the bonds.
Financial Services Director Maria Woods said, “These ratings allow us to borrow and refinance at the most favorable rates thanks to smart debt management and financial policies adopted by the Board of Commissioners.”
In its report, Moody’s Investors Service expects “the county's base will continue to expand given strong permitting activity, recent development announcements, and proximity to Atlanta. This growth will support strong revenue performance which, along with good management and low fixed costs, will lead to continued stability in the county's financial position.”
Fitch Ratings said its top quality ratings “are supported by the county’s strong revenue and expenditure flexibility, maintenance of healthy reserves, and low long-term liability burden.”
S&P Global praised “Gwinnett County's strong, diverse, mature, and continually growing economy… demonstrated ability to maintain strong financial performance… low debt burden and manageable pension and other postemployment benefit obligations.”