NAPLES — As the COVID-19 health crisis continues to cause an unprecedented global economic slowdown, two of the world’s largest credit rating surveillance agencies, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, report excellent financial health for Collier County.
Moody’s Investors Service has assigned an Aaa General Obligation rating to Collier County, which is the credit agency’s highest credit rating. Moody’s most recent analysis found no “material immediate credit risks for Collier County” and identified the county’s ratings outlook as stable. In a summary issued on Aug. 21 Moody’s wrote, “The credit position for Collier County is superior. Its Aaa rating is higher than the median rating of Aa2 for U.S. counties. The financial position of the county is robust and is aligned with the assigned rating of Aaa.”
Some of the key factors identified by Moody’s for assigning their highest rating include the county’s robust financial position and substantial tax base. The Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Finance Team is responsible for managing and accounting for public funds held by the Board of County Commissioners, including the investment of surplus funds and financial reporting on debt.
Fitch Ratings specifically reviewed $61.8 million in outstanding Tourist Development Tax Revenue Bonds - Series 2018, and their rating was affirmed at AA+. The AA+ rating is a revised upgraded rating that moves the bonds outlook position from negative to stable. In a summary issued by Fitch on Sept. 3, one of the key factors identified for the upgraded rating was solid expectations of long-term growth in the county. The revenue bonds reviewed by Fitch were issued to construct the county’s new tournament-caliber amateur sports complex.
Having the Aaa and AA+ ratings enables Collier County to sell long-term bonds at the most favorable rates, saving taxpayers millions of dollars over the life of the bonds.
“Working together, the County’s Office of Management and Budget and the Clerk’s Finance and Accounting Department work diligently to secure the high-level ratings for our county,” said Clerk Crystal K. Kinzel. “I want to recognize the great cooperation to achieve these results for the taxpayers.”
For more information, contact Derek Johnssen, director of finance and accounting, at 239-252-7863.