Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has upgraded Collier County’s Issuer Credit Rating to AAA, the highest rating available in the industry. The decision was made on Monday, Nov. 21, after S&P completed its surveillance credit review of the county. The review also resulted in an increase to the county’s rating on the special obligation non-ad valorem bonds to AA+.
S&P increased the county’s issuer rating from AA+ to AAA based on its view of the county’s ability to maintain a strong financial position despite the Great Recession, coupled with its opinion of Collier’s improving economic characteristics. These include a very strong local economy, a very strong budgetary flexibility, adequate budgetary performance, very strong liquidity and very strong management conditions based on S&P’s Financial Management Assessment of “strong.”
In its report, S&P wrote, “the stable outlook reflects our view of Collier County’s strong financial position and what we consider its flexibility and strong management conditions, which have enabled it to make adjustments to maintain financial strength throughout economic cycles.”
“These credit rating upgrades capped off several weeks of discussion and information exchange between the County and Standard & Poor, as well as several years of prudent management steps taken by the county to protect our already highly-rated credit,” said Collier County Commission Chairman Tom Henning. “The County is now one of only a handful of local governments in the state that have an AAA issuer credit rating. These upgraded ratings will continue to raise our profile as a sound investment opportunity in the financial community and provide greater investment opportunities while reducing borrowing costs for the county.”
In addition to the County’s general issuer credit rating, the Utility System was also upgraded to AAA by Fitch Ratings in June. In its report, Fitch noted, “the rating upgrade reflects years of strategic financial management and prudent debt limitations that have yielded a consistently strong overall credit profile.” Again, the AAA rating for the County’s Utility System makes it one of the highest rated systems in the state.
For more information, contact the County Manager’s Office at (239) 252-8383.