Rensselaer County Maintains High Bond Rating from Standard & Poor’s Through the Pandemic, Thanks to Strong Fiscal Management and Growth, County Executive Steve McLaughlin and Legislators Announce
Rensselaer County has maintained a high bond rating through the worst of the pandemic, thanks to strong and effective fiscal management and policies that support growth and investment, County Executive Steve McLaughlin and members of the County Legislature announced.
S&P Global Ratings, formerly Standard & Poor’s, again gave the county a high AA rating. The AA rating maintained the previous rating by S&P Global Ratings, with the period including the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The high rating by S&P Global Ratings accompanies the excellent Aa3 rating from Moody’s Investor Services, earned by the county in 2018. That rating placed the county just under elite status.
“This is outstanding news for Rensselaer County, and S&P Global Ratings made a point of noting the strong fiscal controls and effective management in the county,” said McLaughlin.
“The S&P rating includes the expansion of the county tax base, which S&P attributes to county policies and practices that support growth, job creation and investment. The rating also pointed out our reduced debt load and stable economic base,” added McLaughlin.
The S&P Global Ratings announcement continues a string of positive financial news and work for the county. The county has reduced taxes each of the past four years for a combined amount of 19 percent, amassed a record surplus and led the state in 2019 in sales tax growth along with strong revenue growth in other years, and reduced debt by $35 million.
The county also was one of only three counties in 2020 to see an increase in GDP in the state. Along with the financial work, the county has improved services, starting construction of a new emergency services training tower and facility, paving a record 170 miles of roads in four years and obtaining new equipment for county Highway work. The county is also preparing to utilize federal funding to expand infrastructure on the Route 9&20 and Route 9 corridors.
The county’s strong cash holdings position and fund balance has allowed the county to finance projects debt free.
The county also recently received an $8.7 million grant for the Rensselaer County Sewer District to expand quality of life service and protection of the Hudson River, with the grant successfully sought by the County Legislature.
“The Legislature is proud to be a part of the process that has strengthened the fiscal strength of Rensselaer County. We look forward to continuing to improve our county for our residents and our business owners,” said Chairwoman Kelly Hoffman- North Greenbush.
“This financial success didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of work, from many different people, to improve the County’s fiscal condition. County Executive McLaughlin and his team deserve a lot of credit for this great news,” said Vice Chair Bob Loveridge- East Schodack.
“Rensselaer County has been able to pave a record amount of roads, make major investments in infrastructure and equipment, all while improving county finances. That is great news, and the legislature is proud to be a part of the success,” said Chair of Finance Rob Bayly- Poestenkill.