Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
Date: March 7, 2014
Contact: Rebecca Pirtle, Communications Coordinator
Kitsap County Commissioners Office
  360.337.4650 or
No: 2014-023

Standard & Poors upgrades Kitsap County's credit rating to AA+

(Port Orchard, WA)  The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners is pleased to announce the Standard & Poors Rating Services (S&P) upgraded the Kitsap County credit rating from AA- to AA+, indicating a very strong capacity to meet financial commitments and a stable economic outlook. Economic activity generated by the strong Navy presence in Kitsap contributed to the upgraded rating, as did the county’s healthy general fund reserve and financial management practices.

“After the economic downturn we’ve been through the last few years, this is wonderful news!” said Charlotte Garrido, chair of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners.

In a summary notice from the S&P March 3, the AA+ rating on the county’s general obligation debt reflects a strong economy, low debt levels and evidence of excellent financial management practices. The S&P believes “the county will maintain strong reserves and continue to benefit from the presence of the naval base.”

“In our opinion,” states the S&P summary, “the county’s budgetary flexibility is very strong with the available general fund balance above 15 percent of general fund expenditures since fiscal 2011 and no plans to significantly spend them down.”

S&P credit ratings range from D, indicating default on financial commitments, to AAA, a very strong capacity. Kitsap County’s rating of AA+ is one level below the highest possible rating, defined as a “very strong capacity to meet financial commitments” with the plus sign an even higher standing within that rating level.

“The county’s effective budget management for the last several years, combined with the implementation of process improvements throughout all departments has resulted in year-end surpluses,” said Amber D’Amato, director of the Kitsap County Department of Administrative Services. “The county’s financial liquidity is very strong with ample available cash to cover operational expenditures and debt service requirements. This rating upgrade is the result of our ongoing commitment to containing costs within current year revenues.”.

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Last Updated:  May 27, 2014