Two of the nation’s top credit rating bureaus reaffirmed Richland County’s ratings status, a nod to the County’s sound financial practices and policies.
Moody’s Investor Services reaffirmed the County’s top AAA rating and assigned it a MIG 1 status. Standard and Poor’s (S&P) assigned the County a SP-1+ rating and reaffirmed its AAA rating.
“This news from the world’s most authoritative credit rating agencies demonstrates Richland County’s finances are in good order,” said Joyce Dickerson, Chair of Richland County Council. “On behalf of Richland County Council, I look forward to continuing to work with the County Administrator and his staff to receive similar ratings in the future.”
A good bond rating helps Richland County save money because it is less expensive to finance debt obligations. In other words, taxpayers’ dollars can stretch further by investing more in preserving financial assets and new projects. Proceeds from bonds are used to fund various capital projects.
In announcing the news, Moody’s said it expects Richland County’s “financial position will remain stable as a result of prudent management and growing local economy.” S&P said the County’s stable outlook was based on its “ability to maintain very strong reserves and strong budgetary performance, supported by a very strong economy and management conditions.”
The County’s sizeable tax base and its role as a major economic hub in the state, due in part to the presence of Fort Jackson and the University of South Carolina, were cited by both agencies.
County Administrator Gerald Seals said the top credit ratings are good news for taxpayers.
“Richland County has made an effort to restructure our financial house and to position the County to do exciting things,” County Administrator Gerald Seals said. “The ratings simply tell the story that Richland County is doing a good job managing public finances and taxpayers should be pleased about that.”
For more information, read the news release from Moody’s Investor Services at moodys.com.