The nation’s top credit rating agencies, Moody’s Investor’s Service (“Moody’s) and S&P Global Ratings (“S&P”), assigned their respective highest ratings in July to Richland County’s financial outlook.
The rating agencies announced the ratings on the $7.9 million General Obligation Bonds Series 2018A (the “2018A Bonds”) for a project to acquire equipment for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. County Council approved the issuance of the Series 2018A Bonds in early July to purchase radio communication equipment and aviation equipment for the department.
Moody’s assigned its Aaa rating to the County’s 2018A Bonds, as well as its currently outstanding general obligation bonds (the “Outstanding GO Bonds”). S&P also assigned its AAA rating to the Series 2018A Bonds and Outstanding GO Bonds. In addition, the rating agencies affirmed their respective MIG1 and SP-1+ short-term ratings on the County’s GO Bond Anticipation Notes Series 2018.
The rating agencies previously assigned the County top ratings in January. Being assigned the highest rating possible helps Richland County save money because it is less expensive to finance debt obligations. That means taxpayers’ dollars can stretch further by investing more in preserving financial assets and new projects. Proceeds from bonds are used to fund various capital projects.
In announcing the most recent news, Moody’s said Richland County’s “outlook is stable.” S&P said “Richland County's GO Bonds are eligible to be rated above the sovereign because we believe the County can maintain better credit characteristics than the U.S. in a stress scenario.”