County earns Triple-A bond rating for 15th straight year

Howard County has again earned a Triple-A bond rating from all three rating agencies.

"While this is the 15th consecutive year Howard County has earned a Triple-A rating, we never take it for granted," County Executive Ken Ulman said in a statement. "It's great to be in the top one percent of counties nationwide who are judged to be doing the right thing when it comes to developing sound fiscal policies, budgeting conservatively and finding ways to do more with less."

Of the more than 3,000 counties across the country, fewer than 30 can tout the same accomplishment as Howard.

"We are always pleased to receive this highest designation, Triple-A, from all three of the national rating agencies," county finance director Stan Milesky said in a statement. "It affirms, through independent evaluation and judgment, that Howard County government is meeting and exceeding the highest standards established on behalf of our citizens."

Ulman, Milesky and other county leaders traveled to New York last month to meet with Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investor Services in preparation for the county's $60 million bond sale scheduled for March 20. The Triple-A rating means Howard can pay a lower interest rate on the bonds.

The rating agencies lauded Howard for its wealth, debt management and fiscal policies.

"The County is among the wealthiest in the nation, featuring a highly educated workforce employed throughout a deep and diverse economy led by the federal government and defense build-up at Fort Meade, a major driver of long-term regional growth," Fitch Ratings commented.

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