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2015 News

Moody's, Standard & Poor's Affirm Their Highest Rating, Aaa and AAA, For Bucks County Government

June 1, 2015

In April, 2010 Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the County’s credit rating, awarding the county it’s first-ever Aaa rating, the highest issued by Moody’s. During September, 2014, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services raised its analysis of Bucks County, from AA+ to AAA, its highest rating. Last week, both agencies confirmed those “Triple A” ratings as Bucks County prepares to go out for another bond offering.


As a result, the county maintains AAA ratings with a stable outlook from two of the largest credit rating agencies in the country. Bucks County is one of three AAA rated counties in the state, and is among a select group of counties in the country that have two AAA ratings. When announcing the news, Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler stated, “It is with great pride and pleasure that we are able to continue to  be recognized at the highest level in our ongoing efforts to provide services to the residents of Bucks County in the most efficient and economical manner.”


Mr. Hessenthaler also praised Director of Finance and Administration David Boscola and his team for taking the leadership role in the process.


“These ratings confirm that the financial course we have charted is continuing to pay off for the residents and taxpayers of Bucks County,” stated Commissioner Chairman Robert G. Loughery, expressing his appreciation to those involved. “This is a significant achievement that did not happen overnight. It’s about a long-term, disciplined approach. We are extremely pleased that both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have recognized that approach by reaffirming the Triple-A rating we have achieved during recent years.”


Commissioner Vice-Chairman Charles H. Martin hailed the ratings news, adding: “These Triple-A ratings validate our emphasis on sound financial management.”


The May 26 Moody’s report noted that its Aaa rating and stable outlook “reflect the county’s stabilizing financial operations and strong reserve levels, sizeable tax base, socioeconomic indicators that exceed state and national medians, and low debt burden that is expected to remain manageable given limited future issuance plans.” Moody’s also summarized: “Bucks County has solid management evidenced by recent conservative budgeting and modest operating surpluses.”


In its May 29 report Standard & Poor’s cited a “very strong economy; very strong budgetary flexibility with available reserves at 23.8 percent of operating expenditures at the end of fiscal (year) 2013; very strong liquidity; strong management, with ‘good’ financial policies; very strong debt and contingent liability position; and a strong “institutional framework score.”