Harford County Among 300-Plus Governments Facing Credit Downgrade
Moody's is reviewing bond ratings for the state of Maryland and four other counties.
Now, as the nation’s economy tries to avoid a double-dip recession, Craig is concerned about a potential downgrade.
In an Aug. 4 from Moody’s, the investors service notified five states and 303 public finance issuers that they were assigned “negative outlooks” because of their link to the federal government’s financial standing.
That ominous statement means Maryland, and in turn, Harford County could be dropped to a AA+ rating.
“[Moody’s] moved us up, which was rare given the economy that was going on, but they rated us very fiscally conservative in our management,” Craig said Friday on MPT’s State Circle. “Because the state is being put on a watch list, Moody's has informed all the triple-A counties that they will be on the watch list too. Much of that is being generated by what the federal government did with their debt limit and their inability to balance their budget.”
In addition to Maryland and Harford County, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, along with the municipalities of Bowie, Rockville and the Washington Suburban Sanitary District have been notified of a possible downgrade.
Bond ratings are meant to reflect the stability of the investment with a triple-A rating being the most secure.
Lower ratings cause governments to pay higher rates of interest to investors making the money borrowed for roads and buildings more costly to taxpayers.
“…Their outlooks will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in the coming weeks,” the release stated. “In order to have a stable outlook, an issuer will need to have credit quality that could be expected to remain higher than that of the U.S. government.”