Manatee ranks among fiscally strongest local governments in Florida

  • Oct 14, 2015

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Oct. 14, 2015) – Independent credit ratings rank Manatee County’s financial standing among the top five percent of local governments out of nearly 500 cities and counties around Florida.

In a debt and credit update to Manatee County Commissioners today, an MBS Capital Markets analyst said Manatee has borrowed wisely over the years and its prompt, regular payment on large public projects has helped save millions of taxpayer dollars over time. Only seven Florida county governments out of 66 others have a credit rating greater than or equal to Manatee County, MBS managing partner Ed Bulleit told County Commissioners today.
 
Moody’s has assigned Manatee’s Utility Bonds a prestigious Aa2 rating, a grade that “demonstrates very strong creditworthiness relative to other U.S. municipal or tax-exempt issuers or issues.” Only Moody’s Aaa rating is stronger on a rating scale of nine. 
 
“Manatee County has been one of the best run utilities in the state for the past 30 years,” Bulleit said. “The County’s credit ratings are, essentially, as good as it gets.” 
 
Similarly, Fitch has assigned Manatee’s utility bonds an AA+, second only to AAA on a scale of 11 ratings. The AA+ rating “indicates strong capacity for payment of financial commitments.”
 
Manatee’s general obligation debt has an implied rating of Aa1 and AAA.
 
County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said Manatee sustained its strong credit ratings over time thanks to the Commission’s longstanding commitment to only borrow when necessary and thanks largely to the late Clerk of Courts Chips Shore, who helped guide Manatee’s investment portfolio for the better part of 40 years until his death earlier this year. 
 
“In sum, you are well respected by the country’s top rating agencies for how well you marshal and manage your debt,” Hunzeker said to County Commissioners Tuesday. 
 
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.