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Standard & Poor’s Reaffirms Dutchess County’s Strong AA+ Bond Rating
County Poised for Outlook Upgrade
Poughkeepsie, NY… Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has again reaffirmed Dutchess County Government’s AA+ bond rating, one of the highest ratings in New York State for county governments. Standard & Poor’s issued the bond rating as the County prepares to issue new bonds to fund various capital improvement projects including property renovations at the Dutchess County Mental Health campus at 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie.
“Dutchess County continues to be among the highest-rated county governments in New York State thanks to our commitment to conservative fiscal management and focus on smaller, smarter, more effective government,” said Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro. “Standard & Poor’s has continued to endorse our financial management and notes we are poised for an upgraded outlook if we continue to build on our success.”
There is only one county statewide with a higher Standard & Poor’s bond rating.
Dutchess County Legislator Don Sagliano, who serves as Vice Chair for the Legislature’s Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee said, “Dutchess County’s AA+ ratings demonstrates our conservative fiscal stewardship and pays dividends for our taxpayers as the high rating drives down the cost of borrowing for important projects such as infrastructure repairs and upgrades for our roads, bridges and facilities. We must continue to be diligent in our fiscal decisions as we approach the 2018 budget season as we know costs will continue to rise for state and federal mandates, utilities, pensions and health insurance and there are also unanticipated events we must be prepared for.”
Standard & Poor’s noted several strengths that reaffirmed the AA+ rating including:
• Very strong economy
• Strong management
• Strong budgetary performance
• Very strong budgetary flexibility
• Very strong liquidity
• Very strong debt and contingent liability position
Standard & Poor’s qualified its ratings for Dutchess County Government with a “stable” outlook, reflecting the strengths noted in the report. The report noted an “upside scenario” which could occur if there is continued growth to the tax base, as well as continued economic growth with improving income levels. Having strong levels of reserves available despite increased fixed costs over the near future could have a positive effect on the County’s rating.
Dutchess County Comptroller Jim Coughlan said, “This impressive bond rating is yet another validation of the sound fiscal policies we have established in Dutchess County Government. Bond ratings of this caliber are not easy to achieve and it is certainly good news for our residents.”
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