BONDS

Maryland Independent - - Com­mu­nity Fo­rum -

“[It’s] un­prece­dented,” Mur­phy said. “I can’t tell you how proud I am to tell you that we’ve done it again for the third year in a row.”

County Ad­min­is­tra­tor Michael Malli­noff said that the award means a lot to the county.

“In essence, it means

that the cost of our bor­row­ing for ma­jor projects, whether it’s util­i­ties, schools, roads, the [se­nior and re­cre­ation] cen­ter ... is cheaper for our res­i­dents.”

Malli­noff said that last week’s meet­ings in New York City to present the county’s fi­nan­cial re­ports to the three agen­cies were “prob­a­bly the best rat­ings trip that I’ve ever been on in terms of the re­cep­tion we re­ceived from

the rat­ing agen­cies.”

“The last rat­ing agency that we saw said, ‘In 2016 we gave you a AAA [rat­ing] and you’ve only got­ten bet­ter,’” Malli­noff said.

S&P has rated the county’s bonds AAA since 2015. Moody’s has done so since 2016, and Fitch since 2010.

Ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the Charles County Gov­ern­ment pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fice, the

re­port is­sued by S&P Global Rat­ings high­lighted the county’s “strong fi­nan­cial poli­cies and prac­tices.”

Moody’s re­port said that the county ben­e­fits from a broad tax base, the nearby pres­ence of mil­i­tary bases and Wash­ing­ton, D.C., an “im­proved” hous­ing mar­ket, res­i­dent wealth, and its long-term fi­nan­cial fore­cast­ing.

How­ever, the Moody’s re­port pointed out that

the county’s re­liance on “eco­nom­i­cally sen­si­tive rev­enues” and a tax base that was below the na­tional me­dian for sim­i­larly ranked coun­ties rep­re­sented po­ten­tial fu­ture chal­lenges for the county’s credit rat­ing.

Malli­noff told the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent that he and his staff ad­dressed those con­cerns by dis­cussing the long-term de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties rep­re­sented by projects such as last year’s pur­chase by the Len­nar Cor­po­ra­tion of the re­main­ing un­de­vel­oped prop­er­ties in St. Charles and the Wal­dorf Cross­ing project, which will in­clude a new in­ter­change at the fu­ture ter­mi­nus of the new Western Park­way ex­ten­sion.

The Gen­eral Assem­bly ear­marked $13 mil­lion for the in­ter­change in the

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