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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Atlantic County's Efforts to Diversify Economy Help Earn Top Credit Ratings

Citing Atlantic County’s remarkable stability, strong management, budgetary performance, and low net debt, the world’s two largest credit rating agencies have reaffirmed the county’s top tier bond ratings.
Bond ratings are given to local governments to rate their overall credit-worthiness, much the same as credit scores do for individuals.
Standard and Poor Global Ratings assigned Atlantic County an AA rating with stable outlook while Moody’s Investors Service assigned it an Aa2 rating with stable outlook. The county has maintained these ratings for the past 11 years.
“These ratings rank us in the top 18 percent in the country and are yet another reason I can proudly say Atlantic County is the best run county in New Jersey,” stated Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson.
“The county’s strong fiscal policies have allowed it to maintain consistent balanced budgets, even during the uncertainty caused by Atlantic City’s tax appeals and fiscal distress,” noted S&P.

And both agencies recognized the county’s focus on growing and diversifying the economy.

According to Moody’s, “the county is making significant efforts to diversify the economy and has already had some measurable successes.”
Construction of the first building of the area’s new National Aviation Research and Technology Park was recently completed. The park is located in the new aviation innovation hub adjacent to Atlantic City International Airport and the FAA Technical Center. It will include seven buildings totaling 400,000 square feet and house approximately 2,000 engineers, technicians and software engineers. 

“A new focus on aviation research and engineering is evidenced by the county’s current capital plan and its emerging partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,” the S&P report stated. 

Embry-Riddle is helping Atlantic County develop plans for a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Academy at Atlantic City International Airport with a $120,000 innovation grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The nation’s premier aviation and aerospace institution is also working with Atlantic County school superintendents to implement its STEM initiative with opportunities for high school students to earn college credits and professional certifications prior to graduation.

“We are committed to establishing an aviation industry and creating high paying, sustainable jobs that will contribute to a rising tide that lifts all boats,” said Levinson.

“I am extremely proud of the financial team we have put together and appreciative of the support of our freeholder board. Together we can continue to move forward and build a better Atlantic County for future generations.”



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