Moody’s Investors Service assigned Rockland’s Tax Anticipation Notes (TANs) a MIG 1 rating, the highest short-term rating assigned by Moody’s to Notes. This is the second year in a row that Rockland received a MIG 1 rating, which it had not received since 2011.
“This rating is great news for Rockland County,” said County Executive Ed Day. “It just speaks to exactly what Moody’s said, the accuracy of our projections and budgeting has led to an improving financial position. Plain and simple, this is a win for taxpayers.”
The report from Moody’s gave Rockland a stable financial outlook and noted that, “the stable outlook reflects our expectation that reserves and liquidity will continue to improve in the near-term driven by strong budgeting [and] careful expense management.”
“That will only happen if we stay the course. We spend our money like the residents of this county spend theirs. We are conservative, we do not take unnecessary risk with people’s money, we will not engage in nor allow for a reckless return to the budgeting practices of the past,” said Day.
For a $60 million Tax Anticipation Note the difference between a MIG 1 rating and the previous rating (unrated) is a savings of approximately $90,000 on debt service, according to Rockland Commissioner of Finance Stephen DeGroat.
“The current rating of our Notes as MIG 1 allows many institutional investors to purchase our paper and invest in Rockland County’s future,” said Commissioner of Finance DeGroat.
Moody’s also reaffirmed Rockland County’s A2 Bond Rating and noted a stable outlook.
The County Executive said that Rockland’s improved finances are a result of the efforts of many people. “We thank all of our talented and hardworking county employees, who have learned to do things differently, often more efficiently,” Day said.
The report from Moody’s included factors that could lead to a future downgrade including a “return to aggressive budgeting, particularly for economically sensitive revenues” and/or a “reduction in reserves or liquidity.”
“Every action we take in county government will not only be designed to stay the course but to improve our course as we continue the renaissance of Rockland County,” concluded Day.