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North Hempstead’s Aaa Moody bond rating highest in Nassau

North Hempstead's Aaa bond rating covers public improvement

North Hempstead's Aaa bond rating covers public improvement bonds and outstanding general obligation limited tax. Credit: Newsday / William Perlman

Credit-rating agency Moody’s Investors Service this week reaffirmed the Town of North Hempstead’s Aaa bond rating, the highest possible ranking a municipality can earn.

The rating covers $26.4 million in public improvement serial bonds from 2017 and outstanding general obligation limited tax.

A bond rating measures credit risk; the higher the rating, the better the credit, which means that the town will likely receive lower interest rates on money it borrows through bonds.

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a news release that the continued Aaa rating was the “result of steady and focused efforts” by town officials to “watch each and every tax dollar, budget conservatively and reduce debt.”

“It will translate into savings for our hard-working taxpayers,” Bosworth added.

Moody’s cited the town’s large and diverse tax base, conservative budgeting and balanced operations in its report, which was issued Tuesday.

Potential challenges include reliance on sales tax and mortgage tax revenues, according to the report.

The town closed the 2016 fiscal year with $27.7 million in available reserves, up from $21.7 million in fiscal year 2015. This increase was in large part due to “higher than expected mortgage tax revenue,” according to Moody’s.

The town was upgraded from the second-highest grade of Aa1 to Aaa in March and continues to maintain the highest rating among Nassau County’s towns. The agency rates the town every six months, said town spokeswoman Carole Trottere.

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