Howard County Times
Howard County

Howard County receives AAA bond rating for 23rd year amid coronavirus economic uncertainty

Howard County has received a AAA bond rating from all three of the nation’s credit-rating agencies, County Executive Calvin Ball announced Thursday.

This is the 23rd year Howard County received the highest possible credit rating, which will allow the county to maintain low interest rates when repaying bonds.


“We are living through challenging times and the impact, response and recovery from coronavirus is going to affect everyone financially — including the Howard County government,” Ball said in a statement. “Achieving our AAA bond rating means that our residents will be saving money due to the careful fiscal stewardship of our county’s leaders over the past 23 years.”

Howard County is one of 46 counties to receive the AAA rating from all three bond rating agencies: Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Services and Standard & Poor’s, who came to Howard County this year to meet with county officials.


On Wednesday, Ball released his proposed capital budget; of the $250.4 million proposed for fiscal 2021, $94.6 million would come from general obligation bonds.

“This AAA rating evidences Howard County’s strong fiscal foundation and its ability to weather uncertain economic times,” County Council Chairwoman Deb Jung said in a statement.

In Moody’s Investor Services rating report, the agency said they consider the coronavirus outbreak a social risk given the public health and safety implications, but they do not see “immediate credit risks” for Howard County, according to a county news release.

However, the situation surrounding coronavirus is “rapidly evolving” and the longer-term economic impact of the virus will depend on “both the severity and duration of the crisis,” according to the Moody’s report. “If our view of the credit quality of Howard County changes, we will update the rating and/or outlook at that time.”