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Rensselaer County

Office of County Executive Steve McLaughlin

News Release: December 18, 2018

RENSSELAER COUNTY EARNS UPGRADE OF COUNTY BOND RATING FROM MOODY’S, COUNTY EXECUTIVE STEVE McLAUGHLIN ANNOUNCES

Rensselaer County has earned an important and positive news about county finances, with Moody’s Investors Service upgrading the county’s bond rating, County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced today.

The ratings upgrade by Moody’s raises Rensselaer County to Aa3 from A1 and noted the county’s strong financial management. Moody’s conducted an independent review of county finances, controls and operations during 2018.

“We appreciate Moody’s upgrading the county’s bond rating, as it recognizes strong and effective fiscal management by Rensselaer County to best protect our taxpayers, residents and needed services,” said McLaughlin.

“The upgrade to Aa3 shows Rensselaer County is an excellent choice for investors seeking to expand their business, create new jobs or chase their dreams of owning or starting a new business,” added McLaughlin.

The Moody’s announcement recognizes a diverse county tax base, “well-managed financial position with steady growth in reserves, and low fixed costs.” The upgrade moves the county into the High Grade tier of bond ratings.

“The county’s financial position is healthy and should remain so going forward,” the Moody’s report reads. “Improvement in the county’s financial position has been driven primarily by expenditure controls and conservative budgeting…”

The upgrade in the county’s bond rating will help reduce costs if the county decides to utilize bonding or refinance existing bond debt, McLaughlin noted.

The bond ratings upgrade is the latest good news for Rensselaer County this month. McLaughlin’s first budget as County Executive included no tax increase and was approved unanimously by a bi-partisan group of legislators. Last week, the county reached an early and effective settlement with the county’s largest labor union.

“We are working to keep taxes low and services strong, while also creating a climate for growth, investment and better quality of life in our great county,” said McLaughlin.

“The upgrade of our bond rating shows the common-sense approach to budgeting and fiscal management employed by the county is paying off. We were able to do this despite increases in unfunded mandates and keep our county positioned to continue job creation success we have seen with Amazon and Regeneron,” said Chair of the Legislature Mike Stammel.

The 2019 county budget adopted earlier this month includes no tax increase, is the eight consecutive county budget under the tax cap, maintains needed services and protects the county’s strong financial ratings to help encourage new investment and job creation. The solid 2019 budget followed McLaughlin announcing cost-savings of over $1.5 million in personnel, purchasing and health benefits, all while maintaining or expanding needed county services.

“We are working hard to maximize every dollar entrusted to us by taxpayers and getting solid results during 2018. The bond rating upgrade will help us continue that strong record into 2019 and help us reach even greater heights,” said Vice Chair for Finance Robert Loveridge.

“The increase in the county’s bond rating is so important because it shows our financial stability.  It can show a savings to the county of a substantial amount of money by way of more favorable interest rates when borrowing,” said Vice Chairwoman of the Legislature Kelly Hoffman.

“Years of conservative financial management and a 2019 budget with no tax increase, coupled with a new labor contract puts us in a great position. People are taking notice, and looking favorably at Rensselaer County,” said Majority Leader Ken Herrington.

For more information regarding this press release, call County Director of Operations Richard Crist, 518-270-2955 or 518-928-1920.