Standard & Poor’s has re-affirmed the County’s AA+ bond rating.
A copy of S&P’s latest rating report is attached, but it’s hard sometimes for those of us who aren’t in finance to understand just how important that rating is. Kane County Chief Financial Officer Joe Onzick said Friday that this is a significant achievement that can be a huge help for the County Board to leverage the county’s financial strength.
“I would especially like to note that (Standard & Poor’s) rating on our financial practices has been revised upward from ‘good’ to ‘strong’ due to the addition of a five-year financial plan — newly developed this past year — as well as the treasurer’s practice of reporting of investment performance monthly,” Onzick said.
Highlights of the S&P rating criteria include:
- Strong local economy
- Strong budgetary flexibility
- Stable reserves
- Excess revenues over expenditures for the past 3 audited years
- Strong liquidity
- Strong budgetary performance
- Very strong management conditions
- Strong financial practices
- Adequate debt
- Strong credit
- S&P noted in its report that Kane County’s unemployment rate of 8.9 percent was less than the state average 9.2 percent for the same time period.
“In our view, the Kane County’s local economy is strong, with projected per capita effective buying income at 111 percent of the national average and per capita market value at roughly $72,600,” the report said.
“The county’s budgetary flexibility is very strong, with available reserves in excess of 70 percent of expenditures. Kane County’s general fund reserves have remained stable, with the county reporting consecutive surpluses for the past three audited fiscal years. The county ended fiscal 2013 (Nov. 30) with a $58.1 million total available fund balance on an accrual basis of accounting, totaling 79.6 percent of general fund expenditures. The county’s budgeted general fund results for fiscal 2014 indicate break-even operations. ”