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Gwinnett keeps top credit score

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Even with the economy down, Gwinnett's credit rating is still up.

All three major credit rating agencies -- Moody's, Standard and Poor's and Fitch -- reaffirmed the government's AAA rating during a review for the refinancing of 2003 general obligation bonds, which funded the expansion of the county jail.

The ratings mean the county can take advantage of lower interest rates, which could save as much as $1.8 million in interest during a negotiated sale later this month, Finance Director Maria Woods said.

"This is great news," said Chairwoman Charlotte Nash, who helped lead the county's pursuit of the highest allowed ratings when she was a county staffer. "Gwinnett County's sound financial management over the long-term has paid off once again with tangible results. I am pleased that we can reduce debt payments and save taxpayer dollars."

The three rating agencies also reaffirmed the top rating , which Gwinnett has held since 1997, on other county debt, including $969.5 million in water and sewer bonds and $94.7 million in Development Authority bonds, a press release said.

"The county was able to generate these strong results ... from conservative budgeting of its tax digest reductions, position vacancies, savings from limited capital contributions, and other departmental reductions," a report from Standard and Poor's said.

While Moody's report praised budget leaders for being diligent and proactive in forecasting the financial situation, Fitch reviewers noted the county's position as a regional economic and employment center.

"The regional economy remains well positioned for growth over the long term, benefiting from solid in-migration patterns, a well-educated workforce, a large and diverse economy, and below-average living costs," the Fitch report said.

Comments

CD 1 year, 11 months ago

The ratings are NOT due to the BOC or county staff; the ratings are DESPITE the BOC and county staff. The taxpayer has funded criminality and largesse to a degree that cannot be sustained. Instead of rhetoric and pats on the back for spending taxpayer money, put forth a plan to cut spending and renounce further tax increases until the economy recovers. Better yet, cut spending further and REDUCE the tax burden.

Here is an easy start: The subsidy to the Chamber. Get rid of it PERIOD.

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R 1 year, 11 months ago

Maybe we should put a non voting seat on the board for the FBI/DOJ.

Get a Snickers, cause they're going to be here awhile...

But commissioners, would you at least give the taxpayers who are FORCED to help you keep the AAA bond rating by PAYING for things a year in ADVANCE by threat of lien a SIMPLE thank you?

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CD 1 year, 11 months ago

Griselda Blanco may also want a non-voting seat.

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teelee 1 year, 11 months ago

Maybe they can get a good interest rate on a stadium refi?

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