Rochester, New York – On October 14, Moody’s Credit Rating Service upgraded Rockland County’s bond rating to Baa1 with a positive outlook from Baa2, citing improved budgeting practices as part of the rationale. As a result, Monroe County now holds the lowest bond rating amongst New York’s large counties with a Baa1 rating and a stable outlook.
“Rockland County’s bond rating upgrade leaves Monroe County with the lowest bond rating among large counties in New York State. This is a problem because like an individual with bad credit, when we need to borrow money, we need to pay higher interest rates, which means we will spend extra taxpayer money to complete necessary projects,” stated Legislator Paul Haney (D – Rochester). “With over $800 million of bond and note debt at the end of 2014, even if our low bond rating only costs the County 1/8 of 1% additional interest, a minimal amount, the annual cost to taxpayers is $1,000,000 a year.”
“As our cumulative deficits grow from year to year, we simply cannot afford to be wasting money paying on higher interest rates. However, Rockland County’s example does show that even while allegedly being handcuffed by state mandates, large counties can improve their financial standing through improved budgeting practices, something we need to do immediately so that we aren’t saddling taxpayers with unnecessary expenses in the future.”