What are we measuring?
A general obligation bond (GO) is is a debt security issued by a state, municipality or county to finance its capital expenditures while being backed by the credit and taxing power of the issuing jurisdiction. A bond rating is a grade indicating the financial strength of the government issuing the bond and its ability to pay a bond's principal and interest in a timely fashion. Most bonds are rated by at least one of the three major rating agencies: Standard & Poor's, Moody’s, and Fitch, who conduct a thorough financial analysis of the issuer of the bond.
The bond rating agencies use different designations consisting of upper- and lower-case letters 'A' , 'B', 'C' and 'D' to identify a bond's credit quality rating. 'AAA' and 'AA' rating designate prime and high grade credit, respectively.
The measure presented on this page tracks the number of major rating agencies that gives the County a prime or high grade rating.
Why are we measuring it?
The debt rating is a reflection of the financial status of the County. Bond ratings are based on the ability of the bond issuer to repay the debt and interest on the bond, as well as the issuer’s credit history. High ratings indicate a high level of creditworthiness and thus, result in the ability to borrow money at relatively cheaper rates.
How are we doing?
In recent years, all three rating agencies have given the County a high grade bond rating. In 2016, Moody's and Standards & Poor upgraded the County's rating from Aa2 and AA to Aa1 and AA+, respectively. The ratings remained unchanged from 2017-2019.