Henry County is in a “very healthy credit position,” according to a recent evaluation by the credit rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service.
The agency rated the County as “Aa3” on a scale that ranges from “Aaa” to “C.”
“The better you are rated, the better interest rate you can get when you go out to market to borrow money,” said Darrell Jones, Director of Finance.
Jones said the County receives an annual credit rating from Moody’s, S&P Global and Fitch Ratings which is linked to the loan for construction of the new Adult Detention Center.
“That rating was a piece of the whole process,” Jones said. “We had to borrow approximately $80 million to build the facility but we needed to get the rating first. The people who loan out money really respect the opinions of those three agencies.”
Jones said the county has maintained the “Aa3” rating since it was initially issued by Moody’s. A review of the rating will take place each year until the loan on the Adult Detention Center has been repaid.
Factors that can affect the county’s credit position are finances, size of the tax base, debt and pension liability.
Based on the review by Moody’s, the full value of the county’s economy is $3.9 billion. In addition, the cash balance for the county is 88.5 percent of operating revenues which is “far above” the median for the country. The county’s fund balance is 38.4 percent of operating revenues which is roughly equivalent to the U.S. median.