COUNTY PRESS RELEASE
NEW CITY, NY — Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Rating Services today upgraded its long-term and underlying rating to “BBB” with a Positive Outlook from “BBB-” with a Stable Outlook on the County of Rockland’s general obligation debt. This is the first S&P rating upgrade for Rockland County since 2002 and the County’s second upgrade since Ed Day became County Executive in January, 2014.
Last July, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Rockland County’s general obligation bonds one notch to “Baa2” from “Baa3” and changed the outlook on the “Baa2” rating to “Positive” from “Stable.”
“This is tremendous news for Rockland County and one of the strongest validations yet of the progress we have made in stabilizing and restructuring our finances,” said County Executive Day. “When I took office sixteen months ago, our administration faced a $138 million deficit. Since then, we’ve made the tough decisions to cut government spending, improve management and tighten procurement processes. Our work isn’t done, and we will continue to make substantive, fiscally responsible reforms to improve the County’s finances.”
S&P issued its credit upgrade based on “improved financial performance expected for 2014 and mitigation of a significant portion of its general fund deficit, with further improvement likely.”
Additionally, S&P assigned a “BBB” long-term rating to the County’s series 2015 general obligation refunding bonds. The outlook on all the ratings is positive.
Both credit rating agencies have cited the County’s significant improvement in management and budgeting practices for the improved ratings and outlooks and suggested additional rating upgrades are possible if current trends continue.