Anne Arundel County has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for its fiscal 2021 budget. The award is based on nationally recognized guidelines and demonstrates a commitment to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.
In addition, the county announced a successful bond sale of more than $423 million of general obligation and utility bonds. The sale included refunding bonds, which replace the existing bonds at a lower interest rate than the county had previously issued. By issuing refunding bonds, the county realized a savings of $37.4 million, significantly lowering its annual debt service payments.
This follows several other important fiscal milestones for the county. County Executive Steuart Pittman recently introduced Bill 22-21, which appropriates $1.2 million into the county’s revenue reserve fund, maxing out the fund at approximately $84 million (or 5 percent) of estimated General Fund revenues. At the same time, the County Council introduced Bill 25-21, which raises the ceiling of the revenue reserve fund from 5 percent to 6 percent.
The county also announced that it had retained its AAA rating from S&P Global Ratings and its Aa1 rating from Moody’s Investors Service. The high ratings affirm the county’s ability to pay its debt and allow the county to sell its bonds at favorable rates resulting in overall low borrowing costs.
“One of my goals as county executive has been to deliver transparent and responsible budgeting while convincing the markets that Anne Arundel County is a good investment,” said Pittman. “Maxing out our rainy day fund and increasing its limit are part of our effort to get the Moody’s rating to AAA by the end of my first term, while still delivering on education, public safety and infrastructure. Saving $37 million by refunding bonds is a welcome reward to all of our taxpayers, particularly this old farmer who hates to be in debt.”