Nearly three years after Standard & Poor's slashed Sarasota County's limited ad valorum bond rating four levels due to plummeting property values, the financial firm has nudged the grade on roughly $82 million of debt into "A" territory.
"The outlook is stable," according to a March 10 Standard & Poor's news release outlining the reasons behind upgrading the debt rating from BBB+ to A-. S&P improved the county's debt outlook due to the 4.1% increase in taxable values in the 2014 fiscal year, among other reasons.
"It improves the overall assessment of the credit quality of one of the County’s debt instruments," said Sarasota County fiscal consultant Richard Gleitsman. "In a general sense, when a county or municipality has high bond ratings, it improves their access to investors in the municipal market for future issuances of debt."
The county has taken advantage of low interest rates by refinancing portions of it debt, which it will continue to purse, Gleitsman said.
"This is further evidence of not only an improving economy, but also the commission's ongoing fiscal prudence when it comes to prioritizing our investments into the projects that the community needs most," said acting Assistant County Administrator Steve Botelho in a news release.