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North Hempstead maintains AAA rating from Moody's

Ratings agency says the municipality's financial health is due to a "strong socio-economic profile, improving housing values and ongoing construction" and a robust healthcare sector. 

North Hempstead has proposed a $133.3 million budget

North Hempstead has proposed a $133.3 million budget for 2019. Photo Credit: Newsday / William Perlman

Credit-rating agency Moody’s Investors Service has given the Town of North Hempstead a triple-A rating, the highest a municipality can earn.

North Hempstead “actively monitors budget performance across funds throughout the year to ensure balanced operations and makes changes to expenditures as needed,” Moody’s said in a report where analysts gave North Hempstead the Aaa rating.

A Moody’s rating measures credit risk within a municipality and reflects the financial outlook. The ratings are important because they affect the interest rate the town pays when borrowing money. Moody’s rates the town every six months.

In a statement, Supervisor Judi Bosworth said the rating stems from “steady and focused efforts" by town financial officials to watch spending, budget conservatively and manage debt.

“It’s extremely satisfying to see this reflected in Moody’s opinion,” Bosworth said. “It will translate into savings for our hard-working taxpayers.”

The town’s rating is based on $8.7 million in public improvement serial bonds and general obligation limited tax.

In their report, Moody’s analysts said the rating “reflects the town’s conservative fiscal management practices.” They also predicted the town’s reserve funds will remain healthy for the near future.

“Town management is strong, with balanced budgets that no longer include pension amortization, a lack of one-shot revenue sources, conservative budgeting practices, and a debt management service plan,” Moody’s wrote.

North Hempstead has maintained its Aaa rating since 2016, town officials said. It has the highest rating among Nassau County towns.

The Town of Hempstead was rated AA- by Standard & Poor's in June,and the agency has rated the Town of Oyster Bay at BBB-.

Moody's said North Hempstead's financial health is due to a “strong socio-economic profile, improving housing values and ongoing construction — including residential and commercial construction in Port Washington, Garden City Park, Carle Place, Greenvale, Manhasset and Searingtown.” Moody’s noted that healthcare was a “significant driver” in North Hempstead’s financial stability, adding that Northwell Health is one of the town’s largest employers.

Moody’s noted other strong financial health indicators for the town, including that North Hempstead's Solid Waste Management Authority will have its revenue bonds paid off by year’s end and that the town has not deferred pension costs in 2017 or 2018.

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