Business, Politics

Baltimore County retains coveted “triple-A” bond ratings amid global economic challenges

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BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD—As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to disrupt economies across the country and the world, Baltimore County on Tuesday announced it has maintained triple-A bond ratings from all three major rating agencies, allowing the County to continue issuing bonds at the lowest possible interest rates.

This week Moody’s Investor Service, Fitch Ratings, and S&P Global Ratings each reaffirmed Baltimore County’s triple-A rating, making Baltimore County one of only 49 counties nationwide to receive the highest rating from all three agencies.

“Baltimore County is proud to have maintained the highest possible financial ratings, even in the midst of significant economic disruption caused by COVID-19. These ratings affirm our administration’s responsible fiscal management and resilient local economy,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Despite the challenges we face, Baltimore County remains on stable fiscal footing and we will continue combating this pandemic while also pushing toward a robust economic recovery.”

In their reports, the ratings agencies noted Baltimore County’s very strong fiscal management, transparent communication, and diverse local economy.

Olszewski’s first budget closed an $81 million deficit and trimmed $35 million in unnecessary spending while making record investments in public education and taking additional steps to increase funding while stabilizing costs for retiree health care benefits.

Anticipating significant economic disruption early in the pandemic, the administration worked in partnership with the County Council to cut over $125 million from the FY21 budget while maintaining key investments in public education, public safety, and the County workforce, and strengthening the County’s reserve fund balance.

The Olszewski administration is currently holding the third annual budget town hall series to hear from residents about their thoughts and concerns on how Baltimore County should prioritize future spending.

Olszewski will submit his next budget on April 15, 2021.

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