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Monday, June 13, 2022

County's Bond Ratings Mean More Savings for Taxpayers

At a time when inflation has reached its highest level in 40 years and interest rates are on the rise, Atlantic County taxpayers can find some comfort in knowing that they will continue to enjoy lower interest rates for capital improvements and county purchases as a result of the county retaining its top tier bond ratings.

Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings has assigned Atlantic County an AA stable rating while Moody’s Investors has assigned it an Aa2 stable rating, the same respective ratings Atlantic County has enjoyed for the last 14 years.

County Executive Dennis Levinson explained why this is important to county residents.

“The higher the rating, the lower the interest rate and the larger the savings are for our taxpayers,” he said. “As the public struggles to fill their gas tanks and pay their grocery bills, they can be assured that Atlantic County is doing its part to keep more money in their pockets.”

Both S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors noted the county’s strong management team and institutional framework as well as efforts to diversify the tax base with the development of the aerospace and offshore wind industries and expanding opportunities in health care.

“The stable outlook reflects our expectation that, given management’s strong track record and detailed planning, the county’s finances will continue the historical trend of remarkable stability,” reported Moody’s.

According to S&P, “the sophisticated and well-embedded financial management policies and long-term planning form the backbone of the county’s credit quality.”

Long-term planning includes a seven-year financial plan with annual updates and quarterly budget-to-actual monitoring and reporting in addition to a six-year capital improvement plan with identified projects and funding resources.

The county’s strong liquidity, low debt and strong reserves were also cited by both agencies.

“I am extremely proud of our fiscal team for the outstanding job they do,” Levinson stated. “This is our financial report card. It’s a methodical examination of our financial practices and policies. And by all accounts, we have earned another A.”



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