Release Date: June 24, 2013
Stephen G. Riley, ICMA-CM , Town Manager, (843)341-4700, Fax: (843)842-7728
All three national bond rating firms recently affirmed the Town's bond ratings and rating outlook.
Fitch Ratings AA+/Stable Moody's Aaa/Stable Standard & Poor's AA+/Stable
These ratings apply to the Town's General Obligation Bonds and were obtained for the upcoming General Obligation (GO) Bonds, Series 2013A. This $9,000,000 debt issue will be used for Townwide capital projects and purchase of Planter’s Row Golf Course.
In the ratings releases, the rating firms made the following statements:
Moody's cited as factors in its rating the Town's strong financial policies, supported by comprehensive fiscal practices, ample fund balance levels, long-term operating stability and a low direct debt burden. The rating also considers the Town’s importance as a tourism center, the sizable tax base, and the high wealth levels of the population.
According to Standard & Poor's, its rating is based on the well-established, tourism-centered local economy with low unemployment; an affluent year-round population; a large and diverse tax base; the strong financial position and a low other postemployment benefits liability.
"This is very good news" stated Steve Riley, Town Manager. "We are very pleased with the Town's affirmations from the bond rating firms." Riley attributed these strong bond ratings to the Town's ongoing large reserves, diversified revenues, and strong financial and budgetary policies. Riley also cited the Town's efforts to create savings in planned expenditures as contributing factors. "These ratings confirm the Town's strong and conservative financial practices", stated Drew Laughlin, Mayor of the Town of Hilton Head Island.