Williamson County has once again affirmed its AAA bond rating, the highest rating possible, with both rating agencies Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings.
Securing a bond rating is the first step prior to issuing debt. On May 17, 2022, the Commissioners Court approved issuing $112 million in Unlimited Tax Road Bonds for road projects approved by voters in 2019.
“Our AAA rating has occurred because we have been great fiscal managers of the resources the people have entrusted to us. This is important because it affords us some of the best interest rates in the nation for our voter-approved bond projects,” said County Judge Bill Gravell.
“When you are a growing county like Williamson County, debt is necessary to stay ahead of the influx of people. The key is to manage that debt strategically, and we have shown that we can do that,” said County Auditor Jerri Jones. “We have paid off debt ahead of time for many years now, saving the taxpayers millions of dollars. This effort was spearheaded by Commissioner Valerie Covey and continues to be supported every year by our Commissioners Court. Effective debt management is a huge plus for our credit rating.”
S&P Global Ratings reflect on their assessment that “Williamson County’s notes are eligible to be rated above the sovereign because we believe the county can maintain better credit characteristics than the U.S. in a stress scenario.” S&P Global Ratings also stated, “Williamson County has considerable financial flexibility, in our opinion, as demonstrated by its very high fund general balance as a percent of expenditures, as well as its very strong liquidity.”
Fitch Ratings noted among their Key Rating Drivers that “the county’s financial flexibility is characterized by ample reserve levels and a pay-go capital program consistently funded from reserves in excess of the policy target.” Fitch also “expects the county would demonstrate strong financial resilience through future economic downturns based on its solid reserves, revenue-raising capacity, expenditure flexibility, and budgetary discipline.”
The ratings reports are available on the County’s website at https://wilco.mygovcenter.com/cms/cms?id=82 under Other Financial Reports.