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Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs today announced that S&P Global Inc., the world’s leading provider of credit ratings, improved their long-term outlook on the county’s financial position this week, citing a very strong local economy and budgetary performance. This notable milestone follows Moody’s Investors Service upgrading the county’s credit rating to the highest level it has ever received from the agency just two short months ago. Both achievements come as the Freeholder Board continually upholds a proud tradition of making Burlington County government the most fiscally responsible in the state of New Jersey.
“We are thrilled that the Freeholder Board’s year-after-year commitment to cutting property taxes and doing more with less has now been validated by two of the nation’s top credit rating agencies,” said Freeholder Director Gibbs. “Our team continues to find ways to cut spending, while expanding the services offered to residents. There’s a saying, ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,’ but when it comes to the county’s finances, we are making them better than they have ever been.”
On Wednesday, S&P Global revised their outlook on the county’s long-term rating to positive from stable and affirmed its AA credit rating. The AA rating means the county’s finances are judged to be very strong.
In August, Moody’s Investors Service pointed to the county’s financial management, sizable and growing tax base, an unemployment rate that’s better than the state and national average, and how the county regularly shares services with its municipalities as justification for their credit rating upgrade. The upgrade is expected to deliver more than $1 million in interest savings over the next five years by the county accessing even lower rates.
“Delivering real results and improving the quality of life of our residents by investing in what matters most will remain a top priority of ours,” added Freeholder Director Gibbs. “I am proud that the things we are doing continue to set Burlington apart from other counties in the state.”
Since 2008, the Freeholder Board has cut the total county property tax levy by close to $10 million, saving Burlington County residents a cumulative amount of more than $105 million. By comparison, all other counties in the state have had an average cumulative increase of $188 million during the same period.
The Freeholder Board has also remained committed to finding innovative, cost-effective ways to reduce government spending. With the 2018 budget, Burlington County is able to maintain the lowest annual cost per resident in the state at nearly half the amount of the statewide average, while delivering top-rate county services.
And, most notably, figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that in Burlington County the median household income increased 17 percent in just the last three years; from under $75,000 to more than $87,000.