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Richland County earns high credit ratings from 2 bureaus

Banking & Finance
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Richland County has earned top ratings from two of the nation’s premier credit rating bureaus.

Moody’s Investors Services assigned its top Aaa rating to the county’s $40 million general obligation bonds related to the construction of a public safety complex, while Standard and Poor’s assigned a AAA rating to the county’s general obligation bonds and affirmed its AAA long-term rating on the county’s general obligation outstanding debt.

Moody’s Aaa rating is assigned to entities the organization regards as having the highest quality and lowest credit risk, according to a news release from the county. This is the second straight year Richland County’s general obligation bonds have received the Aaa rating.

Standard and Poor’s AAA rating indicates confidence in a borrower’s ability to repay debt.

“Taxpayers can feel good knowing that Richland County remains committed to maintaining its strong financial standing, as evidenced by our rating over the past two years,” Richland County Council Chair Overture Walker said in the release.

A good bond rating makes it less expensive for Richland County to finance debt obligations, meaning the county can invest more in preserving financial assets and new projects, according to the release. Proceeds from bonds are used to fund various capital projects.

Moody’s said its Aaa rating “reflects the county’s history of outperforming its budget projections, maintaining balanced operations, and adhering to prudent fund balance policies.”

Both credit agencies cited Richland County’s robust and diverse local economy, healthy fund balance, and large and growing tax base.

“I am very pleased with the county’s commitment to being fiscally responsible, and I am excited about the opportunity to further improve upon our financial practices, ensuring that we maintain our high credit rating,” County Administrator Leonardo Brown said.

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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