(New Hanover County— New Hanover County has once again received a Triple A bond rating, the highest rating a county can achieve, from both Moody’s Investor Services (Moody’s) and Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) on its general obligation bonds. This rating is important as it ensures New Hanover County receives the lowest interest rate possible on its debt. The county has been rated Aaa by Moody’s since 2010 and AAA by S&P since 2013.
This affirmation of the county’s outstanding credit worthiness is attributed in large part to the County’s “dynamic local economy, strong financial operations with sound reserves, and an elevated but manageable debt burden given adherence to policies.” Moody’s notes the outlook for New Hanover County is stable with an expectation of “continued sound financial performance, conservative budgeting practices and growth within the county’s local tax base.”
These same themes are echoed in the rating given by S&P who discuss their view of the County’s “diverse local economy, serving as a regional hub for the eastern Carolina’s.” Other reason’s cited by S&P for their AAA rating were strong management, strong budgetary performance, very strong budget flexibility, very strong liquidity, adequate debt and contingent liability profile, and a very strong institutional framework.
“The county taxpayers have every reason to have confidence in the efficacy of its county government,” according to County Manager Chris Coudriet. “Being double, triple A rated did not happen by chance or luck. It’s a testament to strong, thoughtful leadership from the top by the board of commissioners, and it’s reflective of a highly capable and professional staff that offer sound policy options to the board with the long view in mind. New Hanover County, by any measure, is a safe, healthy, and secure community, and it also reflects a smart investment,” Coudriet added.
The county’s sound budgeting and financial management combined with its thriving local economy are key to obtaining the best ratings for its debt. To be rated triple A by both Moody’s and S&P is a rare and distinguished position to be in. New Hanover County is joined by only six other counties in North Carolina, and approximately 80 of the nation’s 3,069 counties. As a double, triple A rated county, New Hanover County is rated in the top three percent of all counties across the country.
County Manager, Chris Coudriet 798-7184
Finance Director, Lisa Wurtzbacher 798-7187