PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA . . . Prince William County's AAA/Aaa status with a "Stable Outlook" has been reaffirmed by all three major credit rating agencies – Moody's Investor Services, Standard & Poor's (S&P) Ratings Services and Fitch Ratings. The reaffirmations came as part of the County's financing efforts to secure funds to support the Prince William County Public Schools' Capital Improvement Program.
"The Board of County Supervisors' long-standing commitment to effective fiscal management, has been the driving factor in making certain we are able to provide the revenue for capital construction projects at the lowest possible cost to our residents," said Corey A. Stewart, Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors. "This credit rating and low interest rate creates significant savings and allows the Schools to maximize revenues for strategic priorities, such as class size reduction."
All three credit agencies listed the county's strong financial management and budgetary flexibility as part of their reasoning for reaffirming the rating. Fitch Ratings noted in their report that the county's "reserve levels and financial flexibility remain sound, supported by prudent fiscal policies, multi-year planning and ample revenue flexibility... Financial flexibility continues to be ample with healthy fund balance levels as a result of conservative budgeting practices."
Standard & Poor's reported, "The rating reflects our assessment of the following factors for the county: very strong economy…, very strong management, with 'strong' financial policies and practices..., adequate budgetary performance…very strong budgetary flexibility…very strong liquidity."
Moody's said, "The Aaa rating reflects the county's dynamic local economy and wealthy tax base that continues to experience healthy growth, a strong financial position reflective of effective management and ample liquidity, and an above average but manageable debt burden."
On March 29, 2016, the County sold $171.16 million of general obligation bonds through the Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) for the primary purpose of constructing, expanding and renovating various school facilities and refunding certain maturities of outstanding VPSA debt obligations. These Series 2016 bonds were sold at a new record-low 2.38% true interest cost (TIC). This is the lowest interest rate the County has ever received on a bond sale. These triple-AAA rated bonds generated an overall $29.6 million premium and $2.54 million of net present value (NPV) savings on the $50.9 million refunding portion of the sale. The Series 2016 bonds were awarded to Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, after a competitive bidding process that attracted six bidders.