Sunday, December 30, 2007

Maui County gets upgraded credit rating

WAILUKU – Maui County’s credit rating has been raised to AA – an upgrade that will improve the county’s ability to borrow money.

Fitch Rating and Standard & Poor’s raised the county’s credit rating from AA- to AA. Moody’s upgraded its rating of the county’s bond debt from Aa3 to Aa2.

The grades are considered by lenders in setting interest rates on county-issued bonds. Higher ratings often mean lower interest rates, reducing the cost of debt for taxpayers.

The county will be issuing around $35 million in bonds in January, to fund infrastructure projects.

County Finance Director Kalbert Young said the upgrade was “significant,” especially in light of the slowing economic climate in the state and across the country.

“It acknowledges a number of significant financial strengths of the county, some of which were the result of very proactive measures,” Young said.

In recent years, the county administration and Maui County Council have taken steps, such as establishing an emergency cash fund, and reducing the amount of money left unspent by departments from year to year, with an eye toward strengthening the county’s financial position.

“The county has overcome many challenges over the past 10 years to now be in a fiscal position of having a concrete financial base,” said Council Chairman Riki Hokama.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home