Town of North Hempstead retains Aaa bond rating from Moody’s

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

The Town of North Hempstead maintained the Aaa bond rating credit-rating business Moody’s Investors Service first assigned them in March, Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth announced on Sunday, which is the highest ranking the town could earn.

The Aaa bond rating specifically reference’s the town’s $26.4 million in Public Improvement Serial Bonds. Moody’s also kept its Aaa rating on the town’s outstanding general obligation limited tax with a stable outlook.

A higher rating means better credit, which in turn can mean lower interest rates for borrowing through bonds.

“The Town’s continuation of a Triple A rating is the result of the steady and focused efforts by my financial team to watch each and every tax dollar, budget conservatively and reduce debt,” Bosworth said in a statement.

“It will translate into savings for our hard-working taxpayers,” Bosworth added.

Moody’s cited the town’s careful budgeting and financial management, stable fund balance levels, keeping property tax rates within the state cap, and lower debt burden.

The report also noted that North Hempstead ended fiscal 2016 with reserves in its operating funds and that the Solid Waste Management Authority had increased its fund balance from negative $293,092 in 2010 to a positive $2.7 million in fiscal 2016.

“[The] town’s management is strong, with balanced budgets that no longer include pension amortization, a lack of one-shot revenue sources, conservative budgeting practices, and a debt management service plan,” the report said.

The Moody’s report said that it has a stable outlook on the town’s bond rating, which will “support healthy operating performance and maintenance of a strong financial position, as well as full payment of pensions going forward.”

This is also due, in part, to the town’s healthy tax base and high income.

The Aaa bond rating, first achieved in March, is the highest in the town’s history. Prior to that it had held an Aa1 rating, the second-highest rank, for two years.

Factors that could lead to a downgrade include a smaller tax base and eroded operating reserves, according to the report.

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