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For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 18, 2018

Leggett: Responsible, Prudent Fiscal Stewardship Pays Off

County Executive Ike Leggett today announced that Montgomery County has maintained its Triple-A bond rating for 2018 from all three Wall Street bond rating agencies.

Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s all affirmed the “AAA” rating – the highest achievable -- for the County. They all termed the outlook for Montgomery County as “stable.”

“We consider the county’s economy very strong,” said Standard & Poor’s. They went on to cite “very strong management with strong financial policies” and “strong budgetary flexibility.” Fitch pointed to the County’s “stable economic underpinnings, superior gap-closing capacity, and low long-term liability burden” while noting that the County’s “combined debt and unfunded pension liability burden is low.” Moody said that the County’s tax base “will experience additional growth because of economic expansion and diversification” while commenting that “going forward, we will continue to monitor the county’s ability to main financial flexibility and reserve levels that are compliant with its 10 percent fund balance target.”

The Triple-A bond rating enables Montgomery County to sell long-term bonds at the most favorable rates, saving County taxpayers millions of dollars over the life of the bonds. The rating also serves as a benchmark for numerous other financial transactions, ensuring the lowest possible costs in those areas as well.

“What is remarkable about this is that Montgomery County has continued to receive a Triple-A bond rating from all three bond rating agencies even during those years when other jurisdictions – including the federal government – were seeing downgrades and despite federal shutdowns, budget sequestrations and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” said Leggett.

“Our ability to maintain our coveted Triple-A rating affirms my approach to putting the County’s fiscal house in order and reducing unsustainable increases in County spending and boosting County reserves to over $500 million, while investing in making government more effective and creating opportunities for the growth of good jobs in the future

“Moving forward, we need a County Executive and County Council who will continue these prudent spending policies, maintain our reserves at the 10 percent level, and meet our health care funding obligations for retire County employees. More jobs and more business start with a commitment to fiscal prudence and stability.

“The Council has worked in partnership with County Executive Leggett to keep Montgomery County on the right track by making many hard choices over the past decade,” said Council President Hans Riemer. “I am thrilled that all three rating agencies have once again recognized our County’s strong commitment to fiscal discipline with AAA ratings. The AAA rating means we pay lower interest rates and can, therefore, build more schools and facilities for our tax dollars.”

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Release ID: 18-712
Media Contact: Patrick Lacefield 240-777-6528, Cell 301-919-9372