The bonds will be sold via competitive sale during the week of
In addition, Fitch affirms the following ratings:
The Rating Outlook is Stable.
The 2014 GO bonds are backed by the county's full faith and credit and unlimited ad valorem taxing ability.
The 2014 lease revenue bonds are limited obligations of the EDA of the county of
KEY RATING DRIVERS
SOLID FINANCIAL RESULTS: Strong financial performance is evidenced by the county's consistent maintenance of reserves above prudent policy levels.
ECONOMY TIED TO REGIONAL CENTERS: The local economy relies on the nearby job markets of
LOW-RISK DEBT PROFILE: Debt levels are moderately low and amortization of outstanding principal is rapid. Future capital needs appear manageable. The county demonstrates a firm commitment to pay-go financing. Pension and OPEB burdens are modest.
APPROPRIATION RISK AND ESSENTIAL LEASED ASSETS: The 'AA' rating on the revenue bonds is one notch lower than the county's GO rating, reflecting risk to annual appropriation partially offset by a leasehold interest in essential educational assets.
CONTINUED STRONG FINANCIAL POSITION: The rating is sensitive to shifts in fundamental credit characteristics including the county's strong financial management practices. The Stable Outlook reflects Fitch's expectation that such shifts are unlikely.
The county is located in the northeastern section of
STRONG RESERVE LEVELS
Unrestricted general fund balance levels have historically remained sound and well above the county's fund balance policy, which stipulates maintenance of an unassigned fund balance equal to no less than 10% of the subsequent fiscal year's budgeted net operating revenue. Net operating revenue includes total general fund revenue plus total component unit (school board) general operating revenue. The county has traditionally used fund balance in excess of its 10% policy for capital expenditures.
Fiscal 2013 ended with a
ESTIMATED FISCAL 2014 RESULTS SHOW FUND BALANCE USE FOR CAPITAL
The adopted fiscal 2014 budget was 4.8% (
ADOPTED FISCAL 2015 BUDGET
The 2015 budget is 2.6% higher than fiscal 2014 and provides
Property taxes are the county's primary revenue source. Following a decline of 2.9% in 2012 and 20% in fiscal 2010, the county's tax base has begun to recover with a cumulative 4.6% increase in taxable assessed value in 2013 and 2014. Management is projecting a 1.6% increase in 2015, which is supported by recent permit activity and home value trends.
Located on the
Economic indicators for the county are positive. Per capita income levels are 12% higher than those of the nation, and median household income levels are 50% higher. As has been the historical norm, the county's unemployment rate (4.9% as of
CONTINUED DIVERSIFICATION OF LOCAL ECONOMY
The county has experienced growth in its employment base due to the county's economic incentives, availability of land, and skilled workforce. The county's target industries include healthcare, manufacturing, high-tech/IT/defense and tourism.
Growth is expected to be further spurred by the construction of a Virginia Railway Express Spotsylvania commuter rail station that will go directly into
MODERATELY LOW DEBT LEVELS
The county's debt profile is moderately low, with net overall debt equal to
The county's capital needs appear manageable. The fiscal 2015-2019 capital improvement program (CIP) totals
Fitch views the county's firm commitment to pay-go financing as a credit positive. The county has been steadily working towards fulfillment of its policy to transfer 5% of general fund revenues to the capital projects fund, increasing transfers by a quarter-percent every year until the policy is achieved.
LOW PENSION AND OTHER LONG-TERM LIABILITIES
Pension and other post-employment benefit (OPEB) contributions do not stress financial operations. County employees participate in the state-wide
OPEB is currently funded on a pay-go basis, although the county did establish a reserve with
The rating on the
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' (
U.S. Local Government Tax-Supported Rating Criteria
Tax-Supported Rating Criteria
Source: Fitch Ratings
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