Modified: June 15, 2021 12:46pm
Wall Street rating agency Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”) has affirmed Erie County’s “A+” credit rating and pronounced the county’s rating outlook as “stable” in the county’s most recent ratings assessment, announced by Fitch on Monday June 14. The A+ rating and stable outlook reflect the budgetary discipline and vison of the Poloncarz administration, maintained while addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, and keep the county in a position to borrow at a lower interest rate and save millions in long-term interest costs for infrastructure and other projects.
In issuing the affirmation Fitch noted that, “Erie County's 'A+' IDR and GO bond rating reflect steady tax base growth, positive recent financial operations and both a stabilizing economy (prior to the coronavirus pandemic) and population following prior decades of sizable population loss. The ratings also factor in a low long-term liability burden compared to the economic resource base coupled with moderate borrowing plans. The county had improved its financial resilience in recent years and management took decisive steps to reduce spending in order to maintain reserves in response to the projected pandemic related revenue losses.” The Fitch report is attached.
“This most recent affirmation by Fitch, an independent Wall Street entity, is good news for Erie County. Not only does it identify our positive recent financial operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is optimistic about revenue expansion as we come out of the pandemic and return to normalcy,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Beginning as Erie County Comptroller and now as County Executive, as the county’s fiscal watchdog I have overseen the path back to county budgetary responsibility since the Red/Green fiscal crisis, and for Fitch to affirm our A+ rating once again underscores our hard work through the years and is a credit to the people who show up, do their jobs and keep Erie County’s finances in good condition.”
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