Howard County has received an AAA credit rating, the highest possible score, from all three bond ratings agencies. Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Services and Standard & Poor’s all have recognized the county’s vibrant economy, diverse revenue streams and strong financial policies and practices. Howard County is one of just 43 counties among more than 3,000 in the U.S. to earn a Triple-A rating from all three agencies.
“These ratings are an affirmation of our sound fiscal management, responsibility, strength and resilience,” said County Executive Allan Kittleman. “Despite the devastating Ellicott City flood which resulted in a federal disaster declaration, we were able to manage our response and recovery without dipping into the county’s Rainy Day Fund. The agencies also recognize the importance of our highly educated workforce and our ability to attract new business and expand the ones already located here.”
Each agency issued a report describing Howard County’s strengths.
Standard and Poor’s acknowledged Howard County’s “very strong economy … very strong management with ‘strong’ financial policies and practices … strong budgetary performance and flexibility.”
Fitch noted it expects Howard County to “maintain a high level of fundamental financial flexibility throughout economic cycles based on its own expenditure and revenue flexibility and conservative fund balance policy.” It stated, “Financial operations are supported by solid economic and revenue prospects.”
Moody’s cited the county’s “large, diverse tax base with a strong socioeconomic profile” and stated the “management team practices conservative budgeting and maintains formal fiscal policies.”