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Wall Street Awards Oakland County Premier Short-term Debt Ratings and Reaffirms its AAA Bond Rating; Cites Medical Main Street

Public Date: 4/8/2011 12:00 AM
Contact: Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer
Phone Number: 248-858-1048

Pontiac, Michigan -- Wall Street has bestowed its highest short-term debt ratings on Oakland County and reaffirmed the county's AAA bond rating on long-term debt, citing Medical Main Street, Emerging Sectors and multi-year budgeting practices as among the reasons the county garnered its premier ratings. Taxpayers will continue to save millions of dollars on short- and long-term debt because of the latest ratings.

Moody's Investors Service has awarded a MIG 1 rating to the county's $50 million General Obligation Limited Tax Notes, Series 2011. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P) also bestowed an SP-1+ rating on the same tax notes. Earlier this week, there was an erroneous report that S&P reaffirmed the county's AAA bond rating. S&P rated the county's tax notes, not bonds. Therefore, it issued its highest SP-1+ rating to Oakland County.

Moody's, on the other hand, has reaffirmed Oakland County's AAA bond rating with a stable outlook on $271.7 million of outstanding general obligation limited tax debt in addition to its MIG 1 rating on tax notes.

"This is outstanding news," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. "Wall Street has validated our multi-year budgeting practices and our job creation and retention strategies with its latest ratings reports."

Moody's cited Oakland County's Medical Main Street and Emerging Sectors economic diversification initiatives as among the reasons the county earned its highest ratings. "The presence of several health-related and government institutions diversify and stabilize the economy. …The County continues to be proactive in its effort to diversify its tax base through its emerging sectors initiative…."

S&P agrees. It said Oakland County has a "deep and diverse economic base despite a substantial contraction due to the recession and job losses in the automobile industry."

Moody's also said the county's three-year rolling line-item budget contributed to Oakland County capturing its highest ratings. "The long-term planning positions the county to successfully weather the economic downturn."

"My Budget Task Force is already solving budget issues for 2014 and beyond. That long-term outlook is continuing to pay dividends like our Wall Street ratings," said Patterson.

For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at (248) 858-1048.