ELIZABETH, NJ – Union County has attained the highest Moody’s Investors Services’ rating, Aaa, due to its continued economic strength and manageable debt levels, according to the credit rating company.
Moody's cited Union County as having "a very strong management team that has pushed hard to turn around the County's finances." In addition, the company noted that "the upgrade to Aaa rating reflects the county's large, diverse tax base with above-average wealth levels and its strong and improved financial position reflecting sound management and budgeting practices."
The high rating comes during a period of fiscal instability in the State of New Jersey, which has experienced ten credit downgrades since 2009.
"The bond rating is an affirmation of our sound fiscal management," Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen said. "The County Manager, the Freeholder's Fiscal Committee and the Department of Finance have worked hard to keep the County's fiscal house in top condition during a challenging economic period in our history."
Among the benefits, the ratings increase means the County could borrow money at lower interest rates, saving tax dollars.
"This is good news for the County and our taxpayers as a whole," said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella, who is also the fiscal committee chairman. "We will continue our progress this year in building upon this foundation of fiscal responsibility."
The ratings agency also noted the County's "tax base has actually grown in each of the past two years, indicating a potential turnaround. There are ongoing development projects throughout the county including new hotels, residential units, warehousing, luxury, senior living communities, mall expansions, and pharmaceutical expansions," throughout Union County.