James City County in "Rare Air"
February 3, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jody Puckett, James City County Communications Director
Phone: (757) 253-6605
It has nothing to do with breathing but rather a significant financial milestone for James City County. After obtaining a Triple-A bond rating from Standard and Poor’s (S&P) last October, the County is now recognized as one of 67 counties nationally with that rating. Less than five percent of all rated counties have a Triple-A rating. According to the County’s financial advisor, Courtney E. Rogers, that’s called “rare air” and the County has been recognized for it in the 2011 S&P AAA Counties Report.
Virginia has eight AAA-rated counties, the most of any State, of which James City County, Albemarle and Hanover were recently upgraded. Several significant factors are considered in the upgrade, according to Rogers, Senior Vice President with Davenport & Company LLC. “James City is fortunate to have a substantial tax base (substantial being a term S&P used in the County’s last rating report), high wealth and income levels as well as low unemployment relative to other areas,” says Rogers.
Debt profile was cited an important indicator with debt burden being moderate and the pay-down considered above average. And finally, according to Rogers, “The importance of the financial position of a county was discussed in the 2011 Report. In its last rating report, James City was given credit for ‘consistently strong financial position and management policies’”.
The upgrade means that the County is able to refinance or issue general obligation bonds at a lower interest rate, which saves money on interest paid and the rate of debt pay-down.