Moody’s Investors Service upgrades Burlington County’s credit rating

According to county officials, Moody’s said it has upgraded the county’s outstanding general obligation rating to Aa1 from Aa2.

Moody’s Investors Service, a leading provider of credit ratings, research, and risk analysis, has upgraded Burlington County’s credit rating.

According to county officials, Moody’s said it has upgraded the county’s outstanding general obligation rating to Aa1 from Aa2.

Officials said this the highest rating the county has ever received.

According to the county, the Aa1 rating means the county’s finances are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.

At the same time, officials say Moody’s awarded an Aa1 rating to the 2018 Burlington County Bridge Commission’s $30.9 million county-guaranteed pooled loan revenue bonds program.

Officials say program allows participating municipalities to utilize the county’s credit rating to borrow at rates more favorable than on their own.

Since the inception of the program, officials say municipalities and their taxpayers have saved $13 million in borrowing costs.

Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs said Moody’s cited “a sizeable tax base with strong wealth, improved financial position and manageable debt burden” in its decision.

“This is a phenomenal achievement and a true testament to our year-after-year commitment to cutting property taxes, while finding innovative ways to reduce spending and making government more efficient,” Gibbs said.

According to Gibbs, the credit rating upgrade is expected to provide the county with more than $1 million in interest savings during the next five years by accessing even lower rates.

“Our staff deserves a tremendous amount of recognition for their years of hard work and dedication,” Gibbs said. “This credit rating upgrade strongly positions the county to continue to invest in the programs that matter most, like improving our roads, making our schools safer, and providing affordable pathways to higher education.”

According to county officials, the freeholder board has also cut the total county property tax levy by close to $10 million since 2008, which officials said saved Burlington County residents a cumulative amount of more than $105 million.

By comparison, officials said all other counties in the state have had an average cumulative increase of $188 million during the same period.

Officials also point to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, which officials said show that in the median household income in Burlington County increased by 6 percent in recent years, rising from under $76,000 to more than $80,000, while at the same time, the county’s poverty rate declined by more than 2 percent, which officials said was ahead of other counties in the region.