S&P Global Ratings Reaffirms Erie County Credit Rating to AA-

Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:00 PM

S & P’s Rationale Notes the County’s “Stable Financial Profile, Including Historically Strong Operating Performance” and “Good Financial Planning and Practices”

S&P Global Ratings, an independent rating agency, reaffirmed Erie County’s rating of “AA-” for county general bonds in 2021, as well as a stable rating for the county’s existing general debt.

In its report, S&P noted the following:

√ A growing and diversified local economy that anchors the economy of western New York State;

√ Solid and well-anchored financial management policies that are part of the operations and a solid institutional framework;

√ Improve budget performance while maintaining a solid fund balance and very high liquidity; and

√ Manageable debt and retirement and other post-employment benefits.

The report also notes that Erie County is a StormReady certified community under the National Weather Service criteria and is one of three New York counties certified Silver under New York’s Climate Smart Communities program.

“The S&P report is an independent affirmation of the positive path Erie County is taking despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Director. “Our Budget and Management division works hard to shape strong and realistic annual budgets that are fiscally conservative while investing in infrastructure and our community. This is the way to grow our economy and improve our riding for the future.

“I thank S&P for recognizing the strong management and fiscal performance of Erie County, as well as for its consideration of our environmental initiatives. Erie County’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and join the Paris Climate Agreement aren’t just for demonstration, S&P and its peers in rating agencies know that governments that are prepared for climate change will be in a better financial position than their unprepared counterparts. Erie County’s geographic position as a future climate change “oasis” bodes well for our long-term stability and success. “

The S&P Global rating report also states that, “despite the weak fiscal performance for fiscal 2020, fund balances remain strong and in line with formal fund balance policies” and “overall debt has declined due to management’s focus on debt reduction ”.

For more information on the Budget and Management Division, visit http://www2.erie.gov/budget/.

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