DARKE COUNTY – Moody’s Investor Service has upgraded Darke County’s financial status from an A1 to a to Aa3 rating.
According to a press release issued by Moody’s to the county auditor’s office, this rating change reflects the county’s “outstanding general obligation unlimited tax debt.”
County commissioners were pleased with the upgrade.
“This shows the continued growth and stability in Darke County’s financial position” said Commissioner Matt Aultman on Friday.
The county’s issuer rating, which is based on a hypothetical general obligation unlimited tax pledge, was also upgraded to Aa3. The county has $5.5 million of rated debt outstanding.
“All of us, commissioners, elected officials and employees have worked diligently to keep Darke County strong and viable financially,” said Commissioner Mike Stegall.
According to the press release, Moody’s ratings rationale was explained as follows:
The upgrade to Aa3 reflects steady strengthening of the county’s financial position, with both fund balance liquidity rising to very healthy levels. The rating also incorporates the county’s rural and moderately-sized tax base with below average income and wealth, but also a lower cost of living.
Additionally, the rating incorporates the county’s very low debt burden and high pension burden. The county is also reliant on economically-sensitive sales taxes and has limited flexibility to raise local sales taxes, but this is mitigated by a low fixed cost burden.
With this positive news, Commissioner Mike Rhoades promises ongoing stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
“We will continue down the path of financial stability for our citizens,” Rhoades said.