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Rockland County Bond Ratings Earn Top 'A' Status From Standard & Poor's

Rockland County Executive Ed Day and other county leaders.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day and other county leaders. Photo Credit: Rockland County Government

Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced that Standard and Poor’s rated Rockland's bonds in the A category, a clear sign that fiscal policies he put into place are paying off for taxpayers.

The A- rating by Standard and Poor’s is the county's sixth consecutive bond upgrade since 2014, when Rockland's bonds were rated just above junk and the county had a $138 million deficit.

“I vowed I would restore this county to a position of fiscal responsibility and strength – that I would right our financial ship. I have kept that promise,” Day said. “This upgrade means that we can borrow money as we do regularly to fund capital projects at a lower cost."

For a $30 million new issue 20-year-bond the difference between an A rating and a B rating is between $350,000 and $500,000, according to Rockland Commissioner of Finance Stephen DeGroat.

Rockland County has saved between $3 to $5 million in debt service since 2014.

"That is equivalent to a 3 to 5 percent property tax increase that did not happen due to our fiscal responsibility," Day said. "Think about it – that is 3 to 5 percent a year that your property taxes did not go up."

Rockland County's improved financial health has earned the trust of the financial markets, which are willing to pay a premium to invest in the county.

Rockland earned $11 million in premiums from its $96 million deficit reduction bond sale and $20 million in total premiums on all bond sales since 2014.

"That is what fiscal responsibility and the implementation of our era of renewal means to you, the taxpayer,” said Day.

The County Executive said that Rockland's improved finances are a result of the efforts of many people. "We thank all of our talented and hardworking county employees, who have learned to do things differently, often more efficiently," he said.

The upgrade report from Standard and Poor’s gave Rockland a stable financial outlook and noted that “we believe management has taken proactive steps to manage its finances, and the rating reflects that.”

"We are poised to move into the future, to begin our renaissance, with our finances in top shape," said Day.

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