Amid an unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Douglas County’s bond rating from AA1 to the top rating of AAA, the highest possible rating an entity can receive, with a stable outlook.
According to Moody’s, the upgrade reflects the county’s trend of stable financial operations and strong operating reserves coupled with low debt and pension burdens. The strong credit factors are further supported by the county’s conservative budgeting practices that also mitigate the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
There are more than 3,200 counties or county equivalents in the the U.S., and at Moody's there are about 106 counties with the AAA rating, which puts Douglas County in the top 3% of all counties with the top rating.
The upgrades come as Douglas County Commissioners will consider issuance, sale and delivery of two bond series during their Nov. 18 meeting that will help finance a portion of the capital costs for projects on the Treatment and Recovery Campus of Douglas County.
“For the first time in our history, Douglas County’s credit rating has been upgraded to the top tier of financial ratings and it happened during a global pandemic,” County Administrator Sarah Plinsky said. “This speaks to our responsible fiscal management and the strength of our local economy.
The AAA rating allows the county to issue bonds at the lowest possible interest rate, which saves millions of dollars for county taxpayers in long-term public investments. The bond ratings help determine the ease with which the county can borrow money and the interest rates it pays.