PHOENIX— January 27, 2020— Maricopa County continues to hold a AAA bond rating by the three major credit rating agencies for its continual economic growth and strong financial operation. The credit rating agency, Moody’s Investor Service, acknowledges the county’s stable outlook in supporting tax revenue growth and tax base appreciation. A strong credit rating will allow county bonds to issue lower interest rates and provide financial flexibility.
“I’m committed to spending within our means, smarter investing, and budgeting for the unexpected,” says Chairman Clint Hickman, District 4. “The Board will continue to support taxpayers by providing financial stability and staying within our mandates.”
All three credit agencies—Fitch, Moody’s, and S&P— mentioned the county’s economic development growth, strong financial management, and consistent liquidity in assigning Maricopa County the highest possible bond ratings. Fitch noted Maricopa County’s “large and fairly diverse regional economy continues to record gains in population, jobs, and income levels.”
“The county continues to create more with less tax dollars.” explains Hickman. “That’s how a resourceful government operates.”
Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Service, and S&P Global issue two separate ratings to government entities such as Maricopa County. The long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) applies to situations in which the county is considering voter-approved, general obligation, or debt. Maricopa County’s IDR is AAA, the highest possible. The second rating covers the Certificates of Participation (COP’s). These are annually appropriated county debt. Maricopa County had $140 million COP’s, series 2020, and was rated AA+, the highest possible COP rating. The county’s long-term debt remains consistently low as compared to other government agencies.