Erie County receives first credit rating upgrade since 2014

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Erie County Comptroller Kevin Hardwick announced the county has received its first credit rating upgrade since 2014.

The county’s credit rating has been upgraded from AA- to AA, the comptroller said the global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has upgraded the credit rating after his office requested a review.

“As stated in the public report, this rating upgrade reflects the County’s ‘robust, well-embedded financial management policies,’ ‘strong budgetary performance’ and ‘very strong reserves and cash balances’. Also noted was Erie County’s ‘manageable debt and pension and other postemployment benefit (health insurance) profile.’ Erie County adopted a deficit reduction plan in 2020 to address the COVID crisis, has maintained conservative fiscal practices with realistic expectations on revenues, and maintains a lower debt position, all of which are reflected in the rating action.”

— Comptroller Hardwick

According to the comptroller’s office, S&P noted that the county’s outlook is stable, meaning that the rating is not likely to change. It said a higher credit rating may lead to lower interest costs for the county’s current and future borrowing needs, which includes the financing of a new Buffalo Bills stadium early next year.

“Today’s rating upgrade is validation of my administration’s continued efforts to exercise fiscal discipline and prudent budgeting. Erie County residents can take pride in this significant financial milestone for Erie County. Our team is constantly analyzing expenses, looking at ways to control costs and following budgeting and fiscal practices that are the result of collaborative efforts between the county’s Division of Budget and Management and the Comptroller’s Office. Erie County has come a long way since the days of the Red-Green Fiscal crisis, and the best is yet to come.”

– Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz

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