Sound financial condition good for all Suffolkians

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 1, 2004

While the news was about as exciting as watching grass grow, Suffolk officials should nonetheless take pride in the favorable ratings it received from various bond rating agencies.

Although Standard & Poor, the main rating agency, keep the city’s rating at &uot;AA-,&uot; the agency Tuesday notified the city that it had modified its standing from &uot;stable&uot; to positive. In the long run, this could allow the city to borrow more money for much less interest.

City spokesman Dennis Craff told the News-Herald that while it doesn’t amount to an upgrade, it is at least an incremental step in the process and could lead to an upgrade.

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And that is good news for all Suffolk taxpayers. Lower interest rates on bonds that fund the myriad capital improvement projects going on in the city keep pressure down to increase taxes.

S&P noted that its revised outlook is based on the city’s sustained strong financial position and rapidly growing tax base. The agency also noted that the city has been able to sustain its strong financial position through its rapid tax base growth and tight financial oversight.

Suffolk has a quality financial team in place under the direction of Finance Director Christine Ledford. She and others involved deserve credit for their work.