The Erie County Division of Budget and Management announced Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) has reaffirmed its long-term rating of AA- and a “stable” outlook for Erie County bonds. A press release from Executive Mark Poloncarz said this is “another affirmative sign from an independent financial entity that the county’s fiscal profile is strong and stable in 2021.”
Earlier this month, S&P Global Ratings – another independent ratings agency – reaffirmed its own rating of AA- for the county’s 2021 general obligation bonds along with affirming a stable rating on the county’s existing general obligation debt. The S&P report also noted Erie County’s certification as a StormReady community under National Weather Service criteria and as one of three certified silver New York counties under New York’s Climate Smart Communities program as factors in their report.
“The Kroll report is more good news for Erie County, and I thank them for their independent assessment and positive reaffirmation of our ratings and practices,” Poloncarz said. “It has been a long recovery from the time of the red/green fiscal crisis, but we are on the right track and building for the future.”
The KBRA report affirmed the rating and outlook on the county’s general obligation public improvement serial bonds, series 2021A and general obligation sewer district serial bonds, series 2021B. It also noted that, “During the tenure of the administration of the current County Executive which began in 2012, every budget has been balanced, and the County has ended each fiscal year with an unassigned General Fund balance in excess of the Charter required amount, which is 5% of the prior year’s General Fund expenditure.”
KBRA also listed the following “credit positives” for the county:
√ A consistent record of stable general fund unassigned fund balance in excess of the 5% charter requirement;
√ A stabilizing and diversifying resource base that has shown resiliency during periods of economic stress; and
√ Strong fiscal management and budgetary controls, as demonstrated by ongoing expenditure controls and the contribution of the required pension contribution in each of the past five years.
For more information on the Erie County Division of Budget and Management, visit http://www2.erie.gov/budget/.