Md. manages to keep Triple-A bond rating Top grade keeps bond costs down


ANNAPOLIS -- Despite declining tax revenues and uncertainties over next year's state budget, Maryland has preserved its Triple-A bond rating, officials announced yesterday.

"We're really delighted and pleased that despite the problems we're still getting the Triple-A bond rating," State Treasurer Lucille Maurer told fellow members of the Board of Public Works yesterday.

Representatives of two of the three New York bond rating houses met with state officials in Annapolis last Thursday and assured them that recession-spawned budget problems were not unique to Maryland this year.

Louis L. Goldstein, the state comptroller, said the favorable bond rating was the result of a "team effort" between the state's fiscal officers and the General Assembly.

"We may be having a problem with revenue right now, but we'll come out of it," Mr. Goldstein said.

The Triple-A rating, the highest granted by the bond rating agencies, will mean the state will likely have to pay a lower interest rate on borrowing for capital projects. Maryland is one of fewer than a dozen states that have received the Triple-A rating.

The next general obligation bond sale is scheduled to take place in Annapolis next Wednesday at 11 a.m. The $95 million in bonds will pay for jails, community colleges and public schools and other construction projects.

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