Nash County’s credit rating gets a bump | The Enterprise
The Enterprise

Nash County’s credit rating gets a bump

Posted on May 18, 2022

Updated on May 22, 2022

Local news
The Claude Mayo Jr. Administration Building is shown in a Nash County government photo.

Contributed photo

The Claude Mayo Jr. Administration Building is shown in a Nash County government photo.

NASHVILLE — S&P Global Ratings has raised Nash County’s issuer credit rating from AA- to AA.

The rating change was the outcome of an S&P-initiated review of Nash County’s finances and economy, according to a news release from Jonathan Edwards, the county’s communications director.

“The upgrade was primarily due to an improvement in the county’s economic base,” Edwards said. “Nash County’s unemployment rate fell to 5.8% in 2021, with a tax base increase of 3% per year for the past three years. S&P anticipates that this trend will continue due to recent building permit activity and new construction projects.”

Within the past year, the county has seen an increase in demand for residential construction, with 1,300 single-family homes approved. The new rating also reflects Nash County’s strong financial management practices and maintenance of a healthy financial position and performance, Edwards said.

“This issuer credit rating upgrade may positively affect Nash County’s ability to borrow money and lower the interest rate of loans,” Edwards said. “If the county offered a general obligation bond to fund a large project, money would be borrowed directly from investors instead of banks.”

Investors look to the organization’s issuer credit rating as a representation of financial stability. For taxpayers, this results in the county potentially being able to borrow money cheaper, lowering the price tag of large-scale projects and spreading the cost over multiple years, according to Ted Cole of Davenport Public Finance who presented information about the county’s credit rating at a March budget retreat and mentioned an upgrade with S&P could be possible. 

“The S&P upgrade is a reflection of the continued strong management at both the county staff and elected official levels,” Cole said. “The county continues to perform well financially and has been able to take advantage of the strong economy to recognize growth in the tax base and other important credit-related indicators.”

The last time S&P Global Ratings reviewed Nash County’s credit rating was in 2013 when the county added a general obligation bond referendum to the ballot of that year’s November election. The bond was for improvements and additions to the campus of Nash Community College, including the construction of the Continuing Education and Public Services Training Building.

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