Moody’s assigns town top bond rating

Moody’s assigns town top bond rating
North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth speaks at a previous town board meeting. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

The bond rating agency Moody’s Investor Service upgraded the Town of North Hempstead’s bond rating to “Aaa,” the agency’s top rating, town Supervisor Judi Bosworth announced on Thursday.

Moody’s assigned the rating to the town’s $60.7 million in public improvement serial bonds, town officials said.

The rating will save taxpayer dollars as the town will likely see more “favorable” borrowing rates on bonds, the town said in a news release.

“The town’s Triple A rating is a reflection of the efforts by my financial team and each and every town employee, who is committed to delivering services while keeping a watchful eye on the budget,” Bosworth said in a statement. “It’s extremely satisfying to see the town’s fiscally conservative practice recognized in Moody’s opinion. It will translate into savings for our hard-working taxpayers.”

Moody’s cited the town’s balanced and conservative budgets “that include no one-shot revenue sources”; a history of balanced operations, which led to stable financial reserves; the town’s ability to keep to the state-mandated cap on property tax increases “for the foreseeable future”; and the reduction of the town’s total debt in recent years.

“The rating reflects the town’s conservative budgeting which supports balanced financial operations and maintenance of solid financial reserves,” Moody’s said in the report. “The rating also factors the Town’s enhanced long-term financial planning and internal controls, large and affluent tax base and low debt burden.”

North Hempstead is the only town in Nassau County with the top rating.

Bosworth said in January that the town’s efforts to reduce debt and increase efficiency would hopefully lead to the top rating after five straight “Aa1” ratings — the second highest.

According to a news release, Moody’s also considered different development projects, including commercial construction in Port Washington, New Hyde Park, Carle Place, Greenvale, Manhasset and Searingtown.

The report also said “the stable outlook reflects the town’s conservative fiscal management practices, which will support healthy operating performance and maintenance of a strong financial position, as well as full payment of pensions going forward.”

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