October 30, 2012
SL County’s AAA Ratings
Pay Dividends at Bond Sale
Darrin Casper, Chief Financial Officer
Salt Lake County’s bond ratings are saving taxpayers’ money. The savings are directly attributable to extremely low interest rates afforded by the County’s AAA bond ratings.
Salt Lake County is one of just 20 counties nationwide to be awarded Triple A ratings from all three major rating agencies. Fitch, Moody’s Investor Service and Standard and Poor’s all noted Salt Lake County’s good financial performance, conservative financial management policies including low debt levels and historically strong management.
Last week Salt Lake County refinanced more than $38 million in bonds with a savings of $360,000 per year, a total of $3.4 million to property taxpayers.
“The Triple A bond rating lowers our costs for infrastructure and saves taxpayer dollars,” says Mayor Peter Corroon. “We are proud that Salt Lake County continues to have the highest rating from financial rating institutions, and has saved our taxpayers millions of dollars with this refinancing.”
The issuance of taxable refunding bonds is still relatively rare. It is now happening around the country because of the historically low interest rates and the compression between taxable and tax-exempt rates.
Definition: The phrase Triple A, or AAA, refers to the highest rating awarded by various bond agencies for a specific bond. It indicates that an investment is extremely safe and there is very little risk of default.