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Hays County Bond Rating Upgraded to AA+

Standard and Poor’s Financial Services, LLC, announced its upgrade for Hays County from AA to AA+ for the upcoming issuance of Limited Tax Bonds. According to Dan Wegmiller, Managing Director at Specialized Public Finance Inc., AA+ is one notch below the highest possible rating from Standard and Poor’s, a nationally recognized, highly regarded rating agency.

“It is a huge accomplishment for the Hays County and speaks volumes to the investor community regarding the trajectory of the county and its historically strong financial and management practices,” Wegmiller said.

During an October 19 meeting with Standard and Poor’s representatives and county officials, including the Hays County Auditor, Budget Office Director, Treasurer and General Counsel, Hays County’s finances were thoroughly vetted. Hays County Auditor, Marisol Alonzo said the county underwent an in-depth review of current financial reports, background information, and forecasting.

The Standard and Poor’s report said, “The rating reflects our view of the county’s:

  • Robust, fast-growing economy, which will likely spur growth in the county’s demographics that underpins the ability to fund service and infrastructure expansion,
  • Well-embedded policies and practices that management utilizes to guide its budgeting and forecasting processes,
  • Multiyear surpluses, coupled with very strong liquidity and reserves, and
  • High debt load, reflecting infrastructure investments, but offset by manageable pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) costs.”

According to Budget Office Director Vickie Dorsett, said, “Getting to the next level is even more challenging when an entity already has a high rating.”

Knowing the increased rating means improved interest rates on any future bonds gives county officials some peace of mind. It also is a source of pride for those involved in managing the county’s finances.

Britney Bolton Richey, Hays County Treasurer, said, “This high rating increase is a prestigious honor for the county.”

Alonzo added, “It’s also a reflection of the careful, diligent, and well-planned financial stability of our growing county.”

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Hays County