Richland County has earned top ratings from two of the nation’s premier credit rating bureaus, a nod to the County’s sound financial practices and policies.
- Moody’s Investors Service assigned its top Aaa rating to the County’s $40 million general obligation bonds, related to construction of the Public Safety Complex. The bureau assigns the Aaa rating to entities it regards as having the highest quality and lowest credit risk. This is the second straight year the County’s general obligation bonds have received the Aaa rating.
- Standard and Poor’s assigned a AAA rating to the County’s general obligation bonds and affirmed the AAA long-term rating on the County’s general obligation outstanding debt. An AAA rating points to a high likelihood that the borrower will repay its debt.
“Taxpayers can feel good knowing that Richland County remains committed to maintaining its strong financial standing, as evidenced by our rating over the past two years,” said County Council Chair Overture Walker.
A good bond rating helps taxpayers’ dollars stretch further because it is less expensive for Richland County to finance debt obligations, meaning the County can invest 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 its Aaa rating “reflects the County’s history of outperforming its budget projections, maintaining balanced operations, and adhering to prudent fund balance policies.” Both credit agencies cited Richland County’s robust and diverse local economy, healthy fund balance, and large and growing tax base – benefiting from the presence of several major institutions in the area – as contributing factors.
“I am very pleased with the County’s commitment to being fiscally responsible, and I am excited about the opportunity to further improve upon our financial practices, ensuring that we maintain our high credit rating,” County Administrator Leonardo Brown said.