Chatham County’s AAA bond rating is reaffirmed for second year

Pittsboro, NC – On June 9, 2015, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services reaffirmed Chatham County’s AAA bond rating for general obligation bonds, the highest rating available. Only a few much larger counties in North Carolina have earned the AAA rating. The rating was issued as part of Chatham County ‘s refunding of $20.8 million in previously issued debt. The refunding is expected to yield savings of $1.3 million.

Credit Score“This is great news for the county and its taxpayers,” said County Manager Charlie Horne. “The AAA rating also means that we can borrow funds for important projects at lower interest rates, such as the Agriculture and Conference Center now under construction.”

As of 2013, only eight other counties, all much larger than Chatham, had obtained a AAA rating.

The report from Standard & Poor’s states that Chatham County’s “management is very strong, with strong financial management policies and practices.” The report also cites the strong regional economy as another key factor in the AAA bond rating.

Within the area of strong management, Standard & Poor’s noted the following positive factors:
• Chatham County does not use one-time revenues for recurring expenses
• The county has a five-year financial plan that helps keep fund balance at healthy levels
• General fund operations have been stable historically
• Several revenue sources have exceeded expected growth in the past year, such as sales tax and building fees and permits
• A seven-year capital improvement plan with funding secured through the capital reserve.
• Prudent choices for borrowing funds for capital outlay.

Chatham County AAA bond rating

Chatham County was awarded their first AAA bond rating in 2014.

Horne said, “I believe we have the best fiscal team in the state. Their great budget and finance planning and stewardship over many years got us to this point.”

All of the other AAA-rated counties in the state are much larger than Chatham County. Orange County is the next smallest.