ROCKLAND: Moody’s Upgrades County’s Municipal Bond Rating
Real Estate In-Depth | November 2015
NEW CITY—Nearly two years after Rockland County almost went into default during the early days of Rockland County Executive Ed Day’s administration, a major credit rating agency has upgraded the county’s debt.
County Executive Day announced on Oct. 15 that Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Rockland County’s general obligation bond rating from Baa2 to Baa1 with a positive outlook, citing “significant improvement in the county’s finances, vastly improved budgeting practices and a sizeable tax base with above average wealth indicators.”
“We are pleased that our measures of fiscal restraint, improved management and prospective budgetary planning have paid off,” said County Executive Day. “As we look to the future, we will continue to seek positive changes within the county’s financial structure, such as the ongoing streamlining of services where possible. We’re working hard each day to maintain this positive rating and keep our county moving forward.”
Moody’s stated in its opinion on Rockland County, “The positive outlook reflects our expectation that the county will continue to maintain strong budgeting practices, resulting in improved financial operations in 2015 and 2016. Additionally, management transferred the county’s mental health facility to Nyack Hospital in 2014. The county plans to close the nursing home by the end of 2015. These changes are likely to result in significant expenditure savings over time.”
The improved bond rating signifies increased stability for investors, which is expected to translate into a lower interest rate for taxpayers in the county.
Since the start of the Day Administration in January 2014, the major rating agencies have given Rockland County two upgrades, a “positive” outlook and a “credit-positive” report, affirming the cost saving actions of county government.