“DeKalb County has maintained a prudent reserve, reduced staff and cut expenses,” said May, who, along with interim presiding officer Sharon Barnes Sutton and finance, audit and budget committee chairman Larry Johnson, recently traveled to New York to meet with Moody’s representatives regarding the county’s credit rating.
“DeKalb is serious about fiscal responsibility and we will continue to budget responsibly while meeting the needs of our residents,” said May.
“The board of commissioners has demonstrated a willingness to do what it takes to preserve the financial integrity of DeKalb County,” said Barnes Sutton. “The important thing is the taxpayers of DeKalb will save a lot of money in interest charges due to the change in Moody’s rating.”
“The upgrade from Moody’s is the payoff of responsible budgeting during some very harsh global economic realities,” said Johnson. “DeKalb has proven that it is worth the opportunity over the long term.”
Moody’s summarizes its decision in its report, “the stable outlook acknowledges the county’s improved financial position, which is projected to remain below formal targeted levels through fiscal 2016, and reflects Moody’s expectation that the county’s financial position will continue to improve … the outlook also reflects the recent stabilization in the tax base following several years of declines.”
The report explained the rationale to upgrade the outlook for the county as, “Reflect[ing] the recent improvement of the county’s reserves … and positive fund balance in fiscal 2012 … the outlook acknowledges the revenue enhancements, expenditure reductions and improved transparency practices implemented by the county in efforts to regain structural balance and meet stated reserve targets.”
Simultaneously, Moody’s reaffirmed its previous credit rating for DeKalb’s water and sewer revenue refunding bonds as Aa3, outlook stable.