New Hanover County, NC – New Hanover County has 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 instrumental in assisting the county in achieving the greatest amount of savings on its upcoming bond refunding, as it ensures New Hanover County receives the lowest interest rate possible on its debt.
The county’s sound financial performance was a driving factor in the affirmation of the county’s credit worthiness. Moody’s notes that the county’s credit strength is its “sound financial position with high degree of financial flexibility,” citing the conservative financial management of the county. S&P echoes that opinion and adds mention of the county’s financial policies and practices, strong budgetary flexibility, strong liquidity and adequate debt and contingent liability profile.
The affirmation of the county’s credit worthiness not only centered on its strong financial position and flexibility, but also focused on the strength of the overall local economy. Both rating agencies note assets to the local economy that include New Hanover Regional Medical Center, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Cape Fear Community College and the North Carolina Port at Wilmington; and they speak to the growing tourism industry seen in the county. The agencies also tout the diverse industry in the county, noting that the top ten taxpayers represent a diverse 4.7% of the total assessed value and mentioned recent expansions such as General Electric, Castle Branch and nCino.
“With the leadership of our County Commissioners and the diligence of our staff, New Hanover County again delivers to our taxpayers a bond rating that provides us with an advantage when we enter financial markets,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “The ability to borrow at the lowest rate possible provides direct savings to our taxpayers, and reaffirms our commitment to be the ‘Model of Good Governance’.”
New Hanover County remains one of approximately 80 of the nation’s 3,069 counties with a Triple A rating from the major rating agencies, which places the county in the top 2.6% of all counties.
Chief Financial Officer