Arlington's Aaa /AAA/AAA Bond Ratings Reaffirmed

Published on April 04, 2016

  • Financial profile remains sound, well managed

  • "History of conservative fiscal management"

  • "Closely monitored expenditure controls"

For the 16th year in a row, all three credit ratings agencies have reaffirmed Arlington County's debt ratings of Aaa/AAA/AAA -— the highest rating. Arlington is one of just 39 Counties in the United States to receive the highest rating from all three credit agencies for its bonds.

"The County works hard to maintain these AAA ratings to finance critical County infrastructure projects with bonds that carry the lowest interest rates available," said Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz. "As we begin the process of updating the County's 10-year Capital Improvement Plan, it is critical that the County has and keeps these ratings to ensure every tax dollar is used efficiently."

Fitch Ratings issued their rating Thursday, March 31. Moody's issued its rating on Saturday, April 2 and Standard & Poor's today.

  • Moody's noted that "Arlington's financial position should remain solid given a history of conservative fiscal management and demonstrated adherence to adopted policies."

  • Fitch noted in their key rating drivers that "conservative budgeting, timely tax increases, and closely monitored expenditure controls consistently produce surplus operating results leading to solid reserve levels and liquidity." 

Highest ratings ensure lowest interest rates for 2016 bond sale

Having a Aaa/AAA/AAA  rating ensures that the County will enjoy lower interest rates when it sells the  Series 2016 General Obligation Public Improvement and Refunding Bonds the week of April 18. These are bonds previously approved by voters to finance capital improvements, Metro and other County Board-approved uses. At its March 12 Regular County Board Meeting, the Board authorized the sale of up to $55.2 million in General Obligation Public Improvement Bonds and up to $210 million in bond refunding. The County refunds bonds whenever it can achieve lower interest rates. In the past six years, the County has saved taxpayers more than $23 million through refunding bonds at lower interest rates.

About General Obligation Bonds

General Obligation Bonds are debt instruments issued by states and local governments to raise funds for public works. Arlington's GO bonds are 20-year bonds backed by the County's full faith and credit. Ratings agencies base their bond ratings on their analysis of the locality's ability to pay back bonds through taxes and revenues. To learn more about how the County uses bonds, visit the County website.