The Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Rating Services recently assigned its best possible “AAA” long-term rating to Carver County’s General Obligation (GO) refinancing bonds. The strong credit rating allowed the County to refinance bonds at 0.87 percent interest, which saves $65,000 a year in interest for the next 7 years.
At the same time, Standard & Poor’s affirmed its “AAA” long-term rating on the County’s existing GO bonds. The report said the ratings outlook for Carver County is stable.
The rating reflects the County’s “consistently strong finances, evidenced by very strong reserves coupled with good financial management,” the report stated. In addition, the S&P attributed the highest rating to a very solid income and market value per capita, and the County’s close proximity to the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area that includes access to a wide employment base.
“Carver County first obtained the ‘AAA’ rating in October of 2009 and has maintained that rating throughout the downturn in the economy,” Carver County Board Chair Tim Lynch said. “Having a ‘AAA’ rating continues to save taxpayers a substantial amount in interest payments.”
The report stated that overall debt is “moderate” at $4,630 per capita and 4.4 percent of market value. The S&P viewed the County’s budget to debt ratio as low with only 5% of the annual budget going towards debt payments. Payoff of the County’s GO debt is rapid with 70 percent retiring within 10 years.
More information on Carver County’s 2013 Budget and 2014 & Beyond Long-Term Financial Plan is available by visiting the Financial Services Division web page on the county website at http://www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/finance/index.asp.