Budget and Management
Feb. 3, 2022
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — The nation’s top three ratings agencies recently reaffirmed Chesterfield County’s triple-AAA bond rating, solidifying Chesterfield’s position among a small group of peers able to demonstrate exceptional fiscal management. Only about 1 percent of counties nationwide currently hold the AAA credit rating from each of the three agencies: Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings.
Having first received it in 1989 and then in 1992, the county has earned a triple-AAA rating every year since 1997 due to its robust and diverse economy and record of fiscal conservatism and strong financial management.
“Maintaining our long-standing triple AAA bond rating is always important, but even more so in today’s challenges,” said Dr. Joe Casey, county administrator. “This recent review gives the community comfort that our fiscal health and budget plans remain strong despite some of the rough economic waters we have encountered.”
The triple-AAA rating ensures Chesterfield County can borrow funds for the community’s capital and infrastructure needs at the lowest interest rates available. The rating review process also provides residents and businesses with a thorough, independent assessment of the county’s management and financial practices.
The county is on solid footing and in an advantageous position, according to the ratings agencies.
According to Fitch, “The 'AAA' GO ratings reflect the county's robust financial management, as demonstrated by maintenance of healthy reserves, and moderately low debt and pension liabilities. The county's strong revenue framework and expenditure flexibility support Fitch's expectation for resilient operations throughout economic cycles.”
Moody’s says, “The stable outlook reflects the likelihood that the county's tax base and resident income levels will continue to improve and that reserves and liquidity will remain stable due to management's conservative budget assumptions and formal fiscal policies.”
According to Standard & Poor’s, “Chesterfield's credit profile has remained robust throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The rating reflects our view of the county’s consistently strong financial performance and flexibility to date. The county’s use of conservative budgeting assumptions has typically led to positive operating results, including in fiscal 2021 where the county posted a sizable surplus.”