The Historic Greene County Courthouse on a cloudy day
The Historic Greene County Courthouse (Photo by Dean Curtis)

Greene County has earned an upgrade to its creditworthiness, which in theory will help the county borrow money and finance projects.

Moody’s Investor Service has bumped Greene County from an “Aa2” rating to “Aa1,” the second-highest rating possible.

The rating was issued April 18, and represents Moody’s assessment of the Greene County government’s ability to meet financial obligations and payout contractual obligations on time.

Greene County Presiding Commissioner Box Dixon said the upgraded rating to Aa1 was the result of hard work over time by staff members and by elected officials.

“Greene County is focused squarely on sound fiscal management and transparency,
Dixon said. “We take our fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer very seriously. We are very pleased to report this outstanding development as it is a positive reflection on our entire team and our commitment to those principles.”

Aa1 is the second rung on Moody’s 21-rung ladder for investment grading, falling only below the top overall rating of “Aaa.”

“Obligations rating Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk,” an explanation of the ratings found on Moody’s website reads. The “1” added to the rating indicates that Greene County ranks in the upper third of all entities assigned an “Aa” rating.

Moody’s reviews key social considerations for the upgraded rating, including continued tax base expansion and a strong labor market supported by the “institutional presence of several universities,” in Greene County. 

The Aa1 rating also examines the maintenance of Greene County’s operating reserve funds, which the Greene County Commission plans to strengthen further in the near future, as the commissioners expect to see continued growth in sales tax revenue. The rating also considers the county government’s manageable debt and pension burdens.

Moody’s Investors Service is among the world’s top sources for credit ratings, research and risk analysis.  A rating from Moody’s enables issuers to create timely, go-to-market debt strategies with the ability to capture the interest of a wide range of investors. The rating provides investors with a comprehensive view of global debt markets through credit ratings and research.

Rance Burger

Rance Burger covers local government for the Daily Citizen. His goal is to help people know more about what projects their government is involved in, and how their tax dollars are being spent. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with 15 years experience in journalism. Reach him at rburger@sgfcitizen.org or by calling 417-837-3669. Twitter: @RanceBurger More by Rance Burger