S&P Global Ratings has raised Rockland County’s long-term underlying ratings from AA from A+, a double rating upgrade.
In announcing the move, the ratings agency praised the county government’s response to the economic challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic through expenditure reductions achieved by implementing a hiring freeze, eliminating vacant positions and limiting departmental spending.
“Overall, these actions are resulting in strong budgetary performance as revenues are exceeding expectations in 2021 amid the economic recovery,” said S&P. “Despite the rapid deterioration of economic activity in the first half of 2020 to stem the virus transmission rate, which led to higher unemployment, officials report that ongoing development activity remains underway, including at Pfizer, one of the county’s largest taxpayers and major employers, and at Amazon, which recently leased two buildings for a new delivery station.”
S&P’s announcement follows another double rating upgrade earlier this month from Moody’s Investors Service, which upgraded the county’s issuer and general obligation limited tax ratings to Aa2 from A1.
“Receiving yet another double rating upgrade this month is truly incredible,” said County Executive Ed Day. “Last year, we acted quickly to protect Rockland’s fiscal health and we were incredibly successful, which both S&P and Moody’s have taken notice of.”