Oneida County Remains on Solid Financial Ground

Fitch, Standard and Poors and Moody’s maintain high credit ratings; Negative outlook removed by latter

Oneida County’s stellar credit rating has once again been confirmed by the three major national credit agencies, all of which maintained their high assessments, and one of which removed its negative outlook.

Fitch again rated Oneida County AA for 2017, while Standard and Poors repeated its AA- rating and Moody’s reaffirmed its A1 rating and removed the negative outlook assessment it issued last year.

“Receiving these ratings from our nation’s leading credit agencies validates our fiscal policies and shows that our growing tax base and willingness to cut spending and limit debt, has led to investments that are growing our economy,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The stronger our fiscal position, the more successfully the county can deliver for the people.”

The agencies pointed to certain economic factors in making their decision. S&P cited “strong management and good financial policies and practices” combined with “adequate budgetary flexibility and very strong debt and contingent liability position,” while Fitch pointed to the county’s “modest debt burden, manageable carrying costs and an improving local tax base with ongoing economic development activity.” Both continued to proclaim the county in stable financial condition.

Moody’s rating was attributed to the county’s “outstanding general obligation debt” which led to its removal of the negative outlook it issued in 2016. The investor service eliminates the designation of “negative” to a county’s financial outlook when it improves, but does not use the designation of “stable” in its assessments.

“The removal of Moody’s negative outlook is great news,” said Oneida County Comptroller Joseph J. Timpano. “A stable outlook results in a more favorable interest rate, which in turn saves taxpayers money. We will continue to be a steward of those dollars by always budgeting conservatively and borrowing responsibly.”