FROM THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE’S OFFICE
Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced today that Moody’s Investors Service rated Rockland’s bonds A2, a clear sign that the fiscal policies he put into place are paying off for taxpayers. The A2 rating by Moody’s is a two category upgrade from the county’s previous rating of Baa1. This is Rockland’s seventh consecutive bond upgrade since 2014, when the county’s bonds were rated just above junk and Rockland had a $138 million deficit.
“I am ecstatic about getting a double bump increase which is relatively unheard of,” said County Executive Day. “It just speaks to exactly what Moody’s said conservative budgeting and the closure of the county nursing home, which was done despite the opposition of the Legislative majority, has led to an improving financial position.”
The upgrade report from Moody’s gave Rockland a stable financial outlook and noted that, “the stable outlook reflects our expectation that reserves and liquidity will continue to improve in the near-term driven by strong budgeting [and] careful expense management.”
“That will only happen if we stay the course and continue what we have been doing all this time. We spend our money like the residents of this county spend theirs. We are conservative, we do not take unnecessary risk with people’s money, we will not engage in nor allow for a reckless return to the budgeting practices of the past,” said Day.
For a $30 million new issue 20-year-bond the difference between an A rating and a B rating is between $350,000 and $500,000, according to Rockland Commissioner of Finance Stephen DeGroat.
Rockland County has saved between $3 to $5 million in debt service since 2014.
“That is equivalent to a 3 to 5 percent property tax increase that did not happen due to our fiscal responsibility,” Day said. “Think about it – that is 3 to 5 percent a year that your property taxes did not go up.”
The County Executive said that Rockland’s improved finances are a result of the efforts of many people. “We thank all of our talented and hardworking county employees, who have learned to do things differently, often more efficiently,” he said.
The upgrade report from Moody’s included factors that could lead to a future downgrade including a “return to aggressive budgeting, particularly for economically sensitive revenues.”
“Every action I take will not only be designed to stay the course but to improve our course as we continue the renaissance of Rockland County,” concluded Day.