County's Credit Rating Excels
County’s Credit Rating Excels
Moody’s Investors Service has released the Annual Issuer Comment Report for Appomattox County, Virginia. This report provides investors with a consolidated source of current credit metrics, including updated economic, demographic, and financial information. The Issuer Comment Report also provides updated credit research on outstanding debt issuances among cities, counties, school districts, and municipal utilities across the country. These are sourced from Moody’s databases, audited financial statements, and government data.
Appomattox County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sam Carter noted that “the Moody’s Report bears out the fact that the Board and Staff have been very frugal with taxpayer money over the past several years.”
Moody’s assigned Appomattox County an A3 rating in March of 2010. Currently, the rating is Aa3. According to Moody’s rating definitions, “obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.” Aa is the second highest classification in the Moody’s rating scale, second only to Aaa.
As stated in Moody’s report, “The credit position for Appomattox County is strong. Notable credit factors include a strong financial position, a healthy wealth and income profile and a small tax base. The county's credit position also reflects a low debt burden and a moderate pension liability.”
The report adds that “ The County has a strong financial position, which is favorable with respect to its assigned rating of Aa3. The county's cash balance as a percent of operating revenues (32.5%) is consistent with the US median, and grew markedly from 2014 to 2018. Additionally, the county's fund balance as a percent of operating revenues (31.3%) is roughly equivalent to the US median. Because Virginia counties’ operating funds include school operations, their median operating fund balance is generally lower than national medians. However, given the strong institutional framework we (Moody’s) assign to VA counties, which reflects their significant revenue raising and expenditure cutting abilities, their overall financial positions can remain strong despite lower reserve levels.”
Piney Mountain Supervisor Watkins Abbitt commented that “the Moody’s report was validation that the County’s fund balance ratio is not only strong in relation to counties of similar size, but it’s strong versus all counties across the board.” Bryan Moody, Wreck Island Supervisor, added that “in the past four years, the Board and Staff have worked diligently to provide adequate school funding, have provided annual raises to County and School employees, and have paid down $18 million in debt service, all this without raising taxes.”