By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
On October 31, 2018, Moody’s Investor Services announced that they upgraded Snohomish County’s issuer rating from Aa2 to Aa1 for General Obligation Limited Tax bonds. This means that new bonds issued by Snohomish County should be better received by investors thus lowering future borrowing costs.
Moody’s research report stated, “The upgrade of county's issuer rating to Aa1 reflects the county's massive tax base and healthy socioeconomic metrics that have improved in recent years. Reserves across the operating funds are healthy, with substantial unrestricted liquidity across all of the county's funds. Debt and pension liabilities are expected to remain modest as the county has limited additional debt plans, and pension liabilities are declining.”
In response, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said, “I ran for Snohomish County Executive to get a handle on our finances. Moody’s upgrade is affirmation that we are successfully managing our finances. We are diligently working with the County Council to improve our fund balance, the management of resources, and our overall financial health. The upgrade will save money and gives us the second-best rating possible. Our taxpayers expect us to manage finances responsibly and with their interests in mind. We will continue to work for our long term financial health.”
“We take our fiscal responsibilities seriously, and Moody’s upgrade confirms our work is bearing fruit,” said Stephanie Wright, Snohomish County Council Chair.
She went on to say, “Wise management of public dollars is what enables us to address public safety issues, homelessness, and infrastructure improvements.”
“This is good news for the taxpayers of Snohomish County, showing how fiscal restraint and budget discipline can have positive benefits,” said Nate Nehring, Snohomish County Councilmember.
He went on to say, “We will continue to work with our county colleagues to rein in spending and prioritize those areas of responsibility that have broad public support. The upgrade in our bond rating is another sign that we are heading in the right direction.”