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Despite Lingering Foreclosure Crisis Effects, Oakland Keeps Moody’s Triple-A Rating

The mortgage crisis of the Great Recession dropped property values, but the the bond rating agency still assigned its top rating to Oakland’s $25 million in tax anticipation notes

Because of a Triple-A bond rating from Moody's, Oakland County can borrow money more cheaply and potentially pass those savings to taxpayers. (Photo: Facebook)
Because of a Triple-A bond rating from Moody's, Oakland County can borrow money more cheaply and potentially pass those savings to taxpayers. (Photo: Facebook)

Citing “consistently solid management of financial operations through application of multi-year planning and conservative budgeting” the Moody’s ratings agency has affirmed Oakland County’s Triple-A bond rating in $25 million in delinquent tax notes issued by the Treasurer’s office, as well as the County’s long-term outlook.

"Getting the AAA bond rating affirmed is a testament to strong financial management by the Treasurer’s Office, Administration and County Commission in the wake of the foreclosure crisis and Detroit bankruptcy," Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner said in a news release.

Oakland County’s AAA bond rating comes from years of prudent fiscal management and governance, with a focus on a 3-year rolling budgeting strategy, and maintenance of more than ample equity in the Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund.

Meisner said the Moody’s rating affirms what he has argued all along –  that protecting property values from foreclosure is key to keeping an attractive bond rating that will spur investments in the county.

Moody’s cited a multi-year tax base depreciation trend that resulted in a 34 percent cumulative loss in full valuation for five years through 2013 as a “challenge” county officials must navigate.

“That’s why we must fight foreclosure and blight with every available tool, including in our County Seat of Pontiac,” Meisner said.

State law makes the treasurer the county’s agent for administration of the Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund (DTRF) used to help local cities, villages, and townships pay their bills when property taxes are paid after the deadline.  

Source: Oakland County


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