DETROIT—Moody’s Investor Services upgraded the general obligation limited tax (GOLT) debt for Wayne County and gave it a positive outlook according to a Credit Opinion issued Sept. 29, 2016.
The New York rating agency’s report identified several factors for granting Michigan’s largest county a more favorable outlook, including:
“…The upgrade to Ba2 (from Ba3) reflects improvement in the county's financial position following substantial reductions in retirement liabilities and associated costs, which will aid the budgetary capacity to address outstanding capital facility needs…”
“…The positive outlook reflects the potential for upward rating movement in the event the county continues to enhance its operating reserves while accommodating increased costs associated with outstanding criminal justice facility needs…”
“…Wayne County's financial position continues to improve in the wake of substantial expense reductions…”
“…The county developed a financial recovery plan in May 2015 to correct a structural imbalance that developed during years of rapidly falling property tax revenue. The recovery plan culminated in nearly $50 million of cost reductions achieved with elimination or modification of retirement benefits, contraction of payroll, and other operating efficiencies…”
Today’s upgrade from Moody’s speaks to the depth of our Recovery Plan and the fiscal responsibility we’re instituting in every facet of County government,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “This positions us to do more with the resources we have and continue to move in the right direction. While the news is good, there’s a lot of work to do. We’re committed to staying the course and taking on the challenges that remain.”