Hamilton County has received the highest possible credit rating, AAA, from Standard & Poor’s. It is the only county among Indiana’s 92 counties to receive the rating.
“Even during this difficult economic downturn caused by the pandemic, the county remained fiscally strong, disciplined and resilient,” Hamilton County Council member Fred Glynn stated. “These fundamentals show the county is positioned for more growth in the future.”
The rating agency uses four categories of criteria: Economy/tax base, finances, management and debt/pensions. It affirms Hamilton County’s ability to pay its debts and weather uncertain economic times.
“This rating saves our residents money, by providing a lower cost of borrowing to finance capital projects. This also makes the county more attractive to businesses and signals a sound and stable economic climate,” Hamilton County Commissioners president Mark Heirbrandt stated. “It certainly speaks to the hard work and teamwork of our county commissioners, county council, and finance team over the past three months.”
In assigning its AAA bond rating, S&P analysts cited the county’s “strong population growth, high-effective buying incomes and low unemployment rates” among its key attributes. It also noted the county’s local income tax is “stronger than that of the U.S. government (AA+),” remarking that Hamilton County “can maintain better credit characteristics than the U.S. in a stress scenario.”
“To improve our credit rating, while we continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, ramp up numerous projects, and provide pandemic-related assistance to our residents and businesses is simply exceptional,” Heirbrandt stated.