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Monday, March 14, 2016

Standard and Poor's Reaffirms Atlantic County's AA Rating

Standard and Poor’s Ratings Service has reaffirmed the strong financial health of Atlantic County government with its AA long term rating as of March 10, 2016, one week after Moody’s Investors Service assigned the county its Aa2 rating. Atlantic County has maintained the Standard and Poor’s AA rating since 2008.

“This news is important to our residents,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “Despite all the negative talk about the dire circumstances surrounding Atlantic City, residents can take comfort in the knowledge that their county government remains fiscally responsible.”

In its report, Standard and Poor’s cited the county’s very strong management, very strong liquidity, strong debt position, and strong institutional framework.

“The county’s strong financial policies have allowed for its ability to maintain consistent balanced budgets. Among the highlights of the county’s management techniques is a seven-year financial plan that is updated annually, along with quarterly monitoring and reporting of the current fund budget,” stated the report.

It also noted the county’s continuing efforts to diversify economically to help address a fragile local economy that is working through a weak recovery period coupled with a downsizing and restructuring of the gaming market.

Recent economic development projects include the completion of the fourth phase of the Tanger Outlets which includes a Bass Pro Shop; an expansion of the Mainland AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center; the redevelopment of the Hamilton Mall; construction and renovation to Atlantic Cape Community College; the resurgence of the Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park; and the expansion of the Atlantic City International Airport.

“In our opinion, these near and moderate term projects should help stabilize the tax base over the next several years,” the report added.

Levinson was very pleased with the report and the recent ratings by both firms.

“Make no mistake, we work hard to maintain our financial health through conservative management,” he said. “By doing so, we are able to save our taxpayers money by securing lower interest rates for infrastructure improvements and capital projects, something both Atlantic City and the State of New Jersey are hard-pressed to do.”

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