TODAY'S PAPER
34° Good Morning
34° Good Morning
Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Firm upgrades Nassau's short-term credit rating - with a catch

Fitch Ratings Inc., one of the big three Wall Street credit-rating firms, upgraded Nassau County's short-term rating from F1 to F1+ — the highest level and the first time the county has seen a short-term debt rating upgrade since 2011. 

But there's a catch. 

Fitch analysts told Newsday the upgrade was because of a change in the rating agency's criteria, not necessarily because of the improved fiscal outlook of the county. 

"It's more about the change in our methodology than a change in the county's finances," said Amy Laskey, primary analyst on the rating upgrade report issued on Tuesday. 

Nassau has a "A" rating for its long-term credit, which is "below average for a municipality," Fitch analysts said.

Last Monday, county legislators approved Nassau County Executive Laura Curran's $3.11 billion budget for 2020, injecting $5.8 million in tweaks. 

Earlier last month, NIFA, the county's financial control board, said Nassau could face a potential deficit of $47.5 million in 2020. 

“Typically, higher-rated credits receive lower interest rates — which may result in lowering the County’s short-term borrowing costs — a benefit for the County and its taxpayers. We are pleased to see that the changes made in Fitch’s criteria may have a positive outcome for the County,” Curran said in a statement on Friday. 

Earlier in the week, Curran said: "This upgrade is yet another sign that we are moving in the right direction. I am confident that transparency in how we spend taxpayer dollars will translate to good fiscal health."

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News