The nation’s top bond rating agencies have again affirmed Loudoun County’s AAA rating on its general obligation bonds, noting the county’s robust economy, the size and diversity of its tax base, growth potential and strong management. Loudoun County has held the Aaa rating from Moody’s since 2004, and AAA from Fitch Ratings and S&P Global since 2005. The three ratings agencies also affirmed Loudoun’s AA+ and Aa1 ratings on the upcoming sale of lease revenue bonds, as well as outstanding lease revenue bonds and the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan, which goes toward financing the extension of Metro Rail’s Silver Line into Loudoun County.
Fitch’s ratings noted the county’s:
- Very sound operating performance, supported by strong revenue growth and solid expenditure flexibility
- Moderate long-term liability burden
- The county’s solid expected economic prospects
Moody’s ratings noted the county’s:
- Sizable, diverse and growing tax base
- Healthy and stable fund balance and liquidity
- Manageable debt and pension burdens
S&P’s ratings noted the county’s:
- Extensive and well integrated financial management and long term planning
- Very robust local economy that continues to grow, and success of economic development team in attracting commercial investment
- Very strong overall economic and financial indicators, including flexibility and liquidity
All three rating agencies acknowledged that the COVID-19 situation is evolving, and its impacts on the county are being monitored and addressed as needed. Each agency further noted the actions that the county has already taken for the FY 2020 budget, which includes holding non-essential expenditures and procurements and freezing non-essential hires; and the FY 2021 budget, including holding a $100 million expenditure reserve of $40 million for the county and $60 million for Loudoun County Public Schools to be released by the Board of Supervisors when and if revenues materialize to support the expenditures. These actions support each rating agency’s stable outlook for the county’s AAA rating during this time.
"This an unprecedented time for Loudoun and for our nation, and the credit rating agencies were understandably thorough in their evaluation of our finances," said Dulles District Supervisor Matt Letourneau, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors’ Finance, Government Operations and Economic Development Committee. "That’s why it is particularly noteworthy that Loudoun’s AAA bond ratings were once again affirmed. The agencies specifically noted our strong fiscal management and diverse economy. I look forward to a successful bond sale at favorable interest rates."
A triple-a rating is important to the county government and taxpayers because it helps the county continue to get the best possible interest rates to finance capital projects, saving millions of dollars. The reaffirmation comes in advance of the county’s upcoming sale of general obligation bonds; the proceeds of which will be used for school and general government projects.
More information on Loudoun County finances and its triple-A status is online at loudoun.gov/BondRatings.
# # #