Westchester maintains Aa1 Moody’s rating

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WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County Executive George Latimer said Thursday that Moody’s Investor Services revised bond rating of the county to “negative” but maintaining an Aa1 rating is “certainly no surprise.”
He said the county has known for some time that it is in “serious financial stress,” but he said they are taking steps daily to improve its footing. The county executive warned “the road ahead will be long.”
The Moody’s report said that 2017 ended much worse than anticipated. “[The] negative outlook reflects the continued deterioration of the financial position resulting from large one-time expenses over the past two years and the need for incremental recurring revenues to structurally balance financial operations.”
The report, however, said the county’s deteriorated financial position is likely to improve in the near-term given strong financial management. Moody’s also stated that “now that all the union contracts are settled and all retro-active payments will be made or accounted for by December 31, 2018, reserves are expected to improve in the near-term given conservative budget management and revenue enhancements.”
Latimer, who became county executive at the beginning of this year, said the county “has tough times ahead, and we have to make hard decisions to right the ship. I hope to have the county’s AAA bond rating return before I leave office.”