Bal­ti­more County keeps credit in good stand­ing

The Dundalk Eagle - - POLICE BEAT -

Amid the un­par­al­leled eco­nomic in­ter­rup­tions caused by the COVID-19 pan­demic, Bal­ti­more County today an­nounced it has main­tained triple-A bond rat­ings from all three ma­jor rat­ing agen­cies, al­low­ing the County to con­tinue is­su­ing bonds at the low­est possible in­ter­est rate—sav­ing mil­lions of dol­lars for County tax­pay­ers.

This week Moody’s In­vestor Ser­vice, Fitch Rat­ings, and S&P Global Rat­ings each reaf­firmed the County’s triple-A rat­ing, mak­ing Bal­ti­more County one of only 49 coun­ties na­tion­wide to re­ceive the high­est rat­ing from all three agen­cies.

“Our abil­ity to main­tain top-tier fi­nan­cial rat­ings while we nav­i­gate this global pan­demic speaks to our re­spon­si­ble fis­cal man­age­ment and re­silient lo­cal econ­omy,” Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Johnny Ol­szewski said. “We have taken pru­dent steps to put Bal­ti­more County on stronger fis­cal foot­ing, but we know more dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions re­main ahead in or­der to main­tain our fo­cus on meet­ing the ba­sic needs and goals for our com­mu­ni­ties—with­out risk­ing the County’s long-term fis­cal health.”

In their re­ports, the rat­ing agen­cies noted Bal­ti­more County’s very strong man­age­ment and di­verse tax base. The rat­ings also in­cor­po­rate fi­nan­cial poli­cies and rev­enue en­hance­ments that this Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s new man­age­ment team is im­ple­ment­ing.

Ol­szewski sub­mit­ted his sec­ond bud­get on April 15, which was ap­proved in bi­par­ti­san fash­ion by the County Coun­cil on May 29. The Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s FY21 bud­get made his­toric cuts while main­tain­ing key in­vest­ments in pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, pub­lic safety, and the County work­force, while also tak­ing steps to sup­port the County’s in­vest­ment in the trust fund which sup­ports re­tiree health care ben­e­fits—also known as Other Post-Em­ploy­ment Ben­e­fits (OPEB).

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