Fitch Rating Boosts Brevard Credit Rating To AA-Plus, Strong Pperating Performance Cited
By Space Coast Daily // October 26, 2016
rating upgrade to 'A+' from 'A'
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Fitch Ratings has upgraded the ratings for Brevard County with a stable outlook.
Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘AA-plus’ from ‘AA’; $48.4 million outstanding local option fuel tax (LOFT) revenue bonds, series 2007 to ‘A-plus’ from ‘A’.
Brevard County’s Issuer Default Rating, more generally thought of as the County’s general credit rating, is one notch below the highest possible rating for county and municipal issuers.
“This is great news for the County and to my knowledge the AA-plus rating for the County is the highest we have received,” said Brevard County Manager Stockton Whitten.
“We are right below the highest rating achievable of AAA.”
In its ratings upgrade released Oct. 19, Fitch cited the county’s strong operating performance as a key rating driver, including low combined liability burdens of debt and pensions.
Fitch expects the county’s debt and pension liabilities to remain low going forward given limited debt plans, rapid amortization of existing debt, and participation in an adequately funded, state-administered pension plan.
The rating upgrade to ‘A+’ from ‘A’ on the LOFT bonds reflects improved debt service coverage. The LOFT revenue bonds are secured by a six-cent levy per gallon of motor and other fuels sold in the county.
Revenues are collected by the state and distributed to each county and its incorporated municipalities based on a distribution formula formalized in an inter-local agreement.
Fitch noted that County management has demonstrated its ability to adjust both revenues and spending when faced with economically driven downturns in revenues.
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