For Immediate Release
Monday, June 02, 2008
Contact: Mary Curtius 703-228-7943 (voice) 703-228-4611(TTY)
ARLINGTON, Va. – For the eighth consecutive year, Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings, and Moody's Investor Services all have given Arlington County’s debt the highest rating: AAA/AAA/Aaa. Arlington is one of only 22 counties in the United States to carry the coveted triple-A bond rating from all three rating agencies.
Each of the agencies noted the County’s outstanding financial management, its solid reserve levels and controlled expenditure growth. Each also noted significant steps the County took this year to reduce its total liability for post-retirement benefits by increasing employee premiums and making other long-term changes to existing health care plans.
As a result, Fitch Ratings predicted that the County's “tax base growth will be sustained despite economic softening and potential vulnerability from housing market declines." Arlington's “prudent fiscal management," the agency said, "is expected to maintain strong reserve levels in light of broader economic pressures.”
The high ratings ensure that the County will enjoy lower interest rates for its planned sale on June 3, 2008, of $111.185 million in General Obligation Public Improvement Bonds. Bond proceeds will finance:
“Triple-A ratings from all three agencies is a powerful affirmation that the County's fiscal policies are on the right track,” said Deputy County Manager Barbara Donnellan. “This vote of confidence reflects the County Board’s leadership in adopting comprehensive financial and debt policies, fiscally sustainable budgets, and full funding of our employee pension and health care plans.“
What the ratings agencies said:
More information is available on the County's web site.
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.