Fitch Ratings has upgraded Hall County’s general obligation bond rating from AA- to AA, citing the County’s “strong commitment to the restoration of its reserves and financial flexibility in the recent economic recovery.”
The upgraded bond rating will translate into a lower interest rate for Hall County and signifies increased stability for investors.
“The upgraded rating from Fitch is further evidence of sound fiscal management by Hall County’s elected officials and staff,” Hall County Finance Director Zach Propes said. “We will continue to work diligently to maintain this positive rating by being responsible stewards of the public’s funds.”
According to the opinion released by Fitch on Thursday, Hall County has a good track record of conservative budgeting and was also noted for fostering strong economic development opportunities.
“We are very pleased with the upgrade, which is undoubtedly a reflection of the Hall County Board of Commissioners’ fiscal responsibility and conservative budgeting principles,” said Hall County Administrator Randy Knighton.
Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard and Poor’s confirmed their previous ratings for Hall County of Aa2 and AA-/Stable, respectively.
This positive financial news follows the completion of Hall County’s annual audit, which revealed no findings (or a “clean opinion”) for Fiscal Year 2016. The audit also revealed that Hall County's General Fund cash and investments is more than two and a half times more than its liabilities. That’s above and beyond the 2 to 1 ratio recommended by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
In addition, the audit found Hall County’s unassigned fund balance to be at 23 percent of annual operating expenditures, which is well within the Government Finance Officer’s Association’s recommendation of 15 to 25 percent.
For a full copy of Hall County’s 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, click the link below.