Only county in Indiana to hold the designation
S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term rating to ‘AAA’ from ‘AA+’ on Hamilton County’s existing general obligation bonds (GO) and its lease debt not subject to annual appropriation. At the same time, S&P Global Ratings assigned its ‘AAA’ long-term rating to the county’s 2021 general obligation refunding and project bonds, with a preliminary par amount of $38.61 million. The outlook is stable.
“The savings on the refunded bonds will allow the county to fund the county-owned parking garage by extending the current tax rate for four years,” says the county’s attorney Michael Howard. “That ensures the project can be completed with no tax increase.”
In assigning its AAA bond rating, S&P analysts noted the County’s “very strong economic profile, characterized by robust economic growth, including the highest population growth among Indiana counties in the latest census,” among its key attributes.
It also noted the county’s “robust tax base growth combined with strong budgetary management practices,” remarking that Hamilton County “can maintain better credit characteristics than the U.S. (government) in a stress scenario!”
Hamilton County is the only county among the 92 counties in the State of Indiana to receive Standard & Poor’s AAA rating.
“This rating saves our residents money, by providing a lower cost of borrowing to finance capital projects. This also makes the county more attractive to businesses and signals a sound and stable economic climate,” says Mark Heirbrandt, president of the Hamilton County Commissioners. “It certainly speaks to the hard work and teamwork of our county commissioners, county council, and finance team over the past three months.”