According to two private independent rating services, Dakota County once again earned the highest possible ratings for its financial management, keeping its AAA rating on outstanding general obligation debt.
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed the County’s AAA rating under the company’s new criteria. Fewer than 100 counties throughout the United States’ 3,143 counties achieved the rating, according to the most recent report. S&P has also given Dakota County the highest financial management assessment of “strong.” This is an increase over the “good” that was designated in August. AAA and “strong” are the highest designations in their respective categories. The rating reflects S&P’s assessment of a strong local economy, very strong budgetary flexibility and “very strong management conditions with strong policies and practices.”
Moody’s Investors Service also affirmed the AAA rating and said it reflects Dakota County’s diversified tax base, well-managed financial operations, healthy reserve levels and low debt burden. The AAA rating supports the view that the County’s overall credit profile will remain strong with continued financial management and improving economic conditions. Fewer than 10 percent of Moody’s county ratings are AAA.
Dakota County has a long history of fiscal responsibility, turning to technology and innovation to manage costs and maintain a low tax rate. In 2013, Dakota County has the lowest per capita county tax rate in the metro area.
For more information about the rating, call Dakota County Finance Director Stephanie Shawback at 651-438-8318.