Hackensack, N.J. – Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco today announced that $1 million was saved by refinancing obligation and school bonds worth $30.5 million – savings that will be passed onto taxpayers through improved services. The County took advantage of an expiring provision in the tax law related to advance refunding of municipal bonds set to expire at the end of this year. In addition, Moody’s Investor Service, one of the nation’s largest bond rating agencies, recently reaffirmed the county’s Triple A rating citing its strong financial management team, its stable and structurally balanced financial operations, its strong socioeconomic profile and above-average wealth levels, and its substantial and diverse tax base with favorable location.
“This is wonderful news for Bergen County taxpayers because it allows us to get the best rates on the refinancing of general obligation and school bonds – saving our county a substantial amount of money every year that can be used to better improve services,” said County Executive Tedesco. “My administration is dedicated to running a fiscally responsible government that is prudent about our spending and debt practices. I would like to acknowledge and thank County Treasurer/CFO Joseph Luppino, Deputy County Administrator Michael Bellucci, County Auditor Steven Wielkotz, and County Financial Advisor Dan Mariniello. We are proud of Bergen County’s exceptional financial, capital and debt planning.”
A Triple A rating reflects the county’s substantial tax base, strong and diverse economy, well managed financial operations, healthy reserve levels, and modest debt burden. In its summary, Moody’s said Bergen County has a history of strong management and conservative budgeting. The report went on to note that the county has a long-standing debt and capital plan which has enabled it to maintain stable debt service. In addition, the county has a history of seeking shared service agreements to reduce expenditures.
A Triple A bond rating means the county has exceptional credit worthiness because the county can easily meet its financial commitments. The county can get the lowest interest rates when borrowing because a Triple A rated government entity is viewed in the financial world of having the smallest risk of defaulting on its debt. That equates to lower borrowing costs which allows for lower costs to finance capital projects.