All three bond rating agencies have once again given Gwinnett County an AAA/Aaa bond rating, the highest possible, placing Gwinnett in the top 2 percent of counties in the nation for fiscal soundness. This marks the 21st consecutive year Gwinnett has held this distinction.
The stellar rating allows the County to issue or refinance bonds at favorable rates, which reduces the interest paid by taxpayers.
Gwinnett County is one of fewer than 50 counties of approximately 3,000 counties nationwide to have a Triple AAA bond rating. The latest rating came after the County's financial management practices and financial results went through intense review by analysts from S&P Global, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings.
The rating review came as the County, through its Development Authority, seeks to go to the bond market to issue $96.1 million in bonds to fund construction at the Infinite Energy Center, including expansion of the conference center, a new parking deck and other improvements on the campus. This is the first construction bond issue by Gwinnett County in nearly 10 years.
Fitch Ratings' report cited the County's strong revenue and expenditure flexibility, its maintenance of healthy reserves, low long-term liabilities and prudent fiscal management through conservative budgeting without the use of reserves.
Moody's Investor Services commented that Gwinnett had a strong fiscal position bolstered by formal financial policies and conservative budgeting, and low debt because of its SPLOST revenues.
S&P Global reported that Gwinnett had very strong management with strong financial policies and practices, strong budgetary performance, and held a very strong debt and contingent liability position.