Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s all reaffirm the County’s AAA rating on its General Obligation Bonds.
S & P says its rating reflects the County's large and diverse economic base, its strong financial position and its sound debt management despite significant capital needs. S & P’s announcement includes a stable outlook which it does not expect to change in the two-year parameter of the outlook, due to Mecklenburg County’s expected financial strength.
Fitch Ratings also has assigned a stable outlook. In its statement Fitch says, “The County’s proactive financial management has begun to temper a historically high debt burden and intends to limit future debt in conformance with the newly instituted debt affordability policy. The county has also significantly reduced its variable rate exposure.”
Moody’s cites the County’s healthy financial position and strong management team which it says has strengthened the County’s financial and debt policies over the past two years. Moody’s lists Mecklenburg County strengths as a willingness to promptly identify and close budget gaps as well as debt policies and budget reserves that provide an adequate cushion in case of another downturn.
Manager Harry Jones and a team of Finance Department executives traveled to New York in mid-December and met with the rating agencies. Their presentation included an overview of County finances, an update on the County’s revised financial policies including fund balance and debt management, an overview of the FY2013 adopted budget, a snapshot of local economic conditions and an overview of the proposed transactions.