Moody’s gave the county a AAA rating and assigned it a MIG 1 status. S&P reaffirmed its AAA rating and gave the county an SP-1+ rating.
In announcing the news, Moody’s said it expects Richland County’s “financial position will remain stable as a result of prudent management and growing local economy.” S&P said the county’s stable outlook was based on its “ability to maintain very strong reserves and strong budgetary performance, supported by a very strong economy and management conditions.”
Both agencies also cited the county’s sizable tax base and its role as an economic hub in the state due to the presence of Fort Jackson and the University of South Carolina.
The good bond ratings will make it less expensive to finance debt obligations, the county said in a news release. Proceeds from bonds are issued to fund various projects.
“This news from the world’s most authoritative credit rating agencies demonstrates Richland County’s finances are in good order,” said Joyce Dickerson, chair of Richland County Council. “On behalf of Richland County Council, I look forward to continuing to work with the county administrator and his staff to receive similar ratings in the future.”
County Administrator Gerald Seals said the top credit ratings are good news for taxpayers.
“Richland County has made an effort to restructure our financial house and to position the county to do exciting things,” Seals said. “The ratings simply tell the story that Richland County is doing a good job managing public finances, and taxpayers should be pleased about that.”