Rating Agencies affirm county's Triple-A credit rating

ORANGE COUNTY (June 8, 2018) -- All three of the major credit rating agencies affirmed Orange County's status as Triple-A rated for the $64.4 million general obligation (GO) bonds to be sold June 26 to finance capital improvements at Chapel Hill High School. The county received a Aa1 rating, the highest possible, for the $7.6 million in Limited Obligation Bonds that will also be sold in June.

The Fitch report, issued June 8, credited the county's "strong growth prospects, ample reserves relative to broad budgetary tools and low expected revenue volatility and low long-term liability burden" in affirming its rating. Fitch expects "continued strong general fund revenue growth over the medium-term based on the expanding regional economy and high level of ongoing private investment."

Standard and Poor's also credited the strong economy in its report. "We consider the county's economy very strong. The county's expanding economy and employment access continue to spur population growth."

Moody's Investor Service released its report June 7, maintaining its Aaa rating for the GO bonds. The "rating reflects the county's diverse economic base that benefits from the stabilizing presence of the flagship campus of the University of North Carolina, interstate access and proximity to Research Triangle Park. The rating is also based on the county's strong financial position, supported by proactive management and comprehensive fiscal planning and a manageable debt burden."