LTGO bonds issued by the county carry the county's general obligation ad valorem tax pledge, subject to applicable charter, statutory and constitutional limitations.
Stadium authority and building authority bonds are secured by lease payments from the county to the respective authority. The obligation to make the rental payments is not subject to appropriation, setoff or abatement for any cause, and carries the county's limited tax general obligation pledge.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
RAPID FINANCIAL DETERIORATION: The speculative grade ratings stem from the county's considerably narrowed liquidity position, the deepening of the general fund accumulated deficit and Fitch's concern regarding the limited options for elimination of the negative position.
NEAR-TERM LIQUIDITY CHALLENGES; MARKET ACCESS UNCERTAINTY: The Negative Watch reflects the county's highly illiquid general fund, dependent upon both inter-fund and external short-term borrowing for cash flow. At the close of fiscal 2013, Fitch calculated a quick ratio of zero shortly after the August tax collection date.
STRESSED ECONOMY SLOW TO RECOVER: The weak local area economy is reflected in elevated unemployment rates, population loss, and below-average income levels. The tax base suffered significant declines during the last recession but the rate of decline has recently slowed.
ACCUMULATED DEFICIT DEEPENS: The county recorded a
PLAN COULD IMPROVE FINANCES IF SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED: The county's proposed deficit elimination plan (DEP) relies upon a transfer of the
INABILITY TO ACCESS MARKET FOR CASH FLOW: Inability to access the market if needed in an economically feasible manner for cash flow borrowing would severely constrain the county's liquidity position and would trigger a downgrade.
FURTHER DETERIORATION OF LIQUIDITY: Deterioration of the county's already precarious liquidity position would likely result in a downgrade. The county has postponed the
FAILURE TO REDUCE DEFICIT: Fitch believes the county remains severely challenged to stem the decline in its financial position and show material improvement in the near term. Lack of significant progress toward accumulated deficit reduction within the current fiscal year, as evidenced by improvement in its liquidity position and unrestricted general fund balance/deficit, would place negative pressure on the rating.
For further information, please refer to 'Fitch Maintains Negative Watch on
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
In addition to the sources of information identified in Fitch's Tax-Supported Rating Criteria, this action was additionally informed by information from Creditscope,
--'Tax-Supported Rating Criteria' (
--'U.S. Local Government Tax-Supported Rating Criteria' (
Tax-Supported Rating Criteria
U.S. Local Government Tax-Supported Rating Criteria
Source: Fitch Ratings
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