County maintains high bond ratings

January 22, 1995

Anne Arundel County maintained its favorable bond ratings in reports issued last week by the county's three major investors services in anticipation of this week's bond sale.

Fitch Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Corp. both gave the $86.9 million worth of bonds to be sold Wednesday a favorable AA+ rating. Moody's Investors Service gave the bonds an Aa rating, a notch below the Aa1 rating given the county bonds issued before the property tax limit went into effect in fiscal year 1993-1994.

Moody's lowered its bond rating because the tax limit hampers the county's ability to collect revenue to back the bonds fully.

Any outstanding county bonds issued before the tax limit retain Moody's Aa1 rating.

Although the county maintained its favorable rating, it is not going to get the same low interest rate it received when it went to the bond market last February. The county sold $70 million worth of general obligation bonds one day before the Federal Reserve Board raised interest rates at an interest rate of 4.7051 percent.

John R. Hammond, the county financial officer, said interest rates seemed to peak in late November and decrease slightly thereafter.

The bonds that will be issued this week consist of $65.9 million worth of general construction bonds, including about $22 million for the new Circuit Courthouse, and $21 million in water and sewer bonds.

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