The Town of Hempstead’s bond rating was upgraded to a stable outlook after it was downgraded three levels last year for borrowing from reserves.
Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC upgraded the town from the previous status of developing and maintained the town’s overall bond rating of A+ on general obligation bonds.
“The outlook revision reflects the town’s improving financial position and the expectation that reserves will return to positive levels . . .” S&P Global Ratings analyst Danielle Leonardis said in the report.
S&P called the town’s economy “very strong” and said it’s liquid finances and management was stable, maintaining the A+ rating.
Hempstead passed a $422.7 million budget this month that cuts spending by $13 million with a slight rise in taxes. The budget was the first in the town in nearly 30 years that made revenue equal to expenses. It follows three straight years of budgets that borrowed from reserves to meet a funding gap.
“There is no reliance on one-shot revenues or gimmicks to balance this budget,” Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino said in a statement. “I am happy that Wall Street credit raters have acknowledged my dedication to responsible and accountable budgeting.”
S&P said the town’s bond rating could be improved if officials raise its financial position and overall reserve levels and flexibility. Available cash was listed at 14.5 percent of government expenditures.