Mesa County maintains good bond rating at AA

The general economy may be going through a tough time, but it has not affected Mesa County’s bond rating.

Fitch Ratings, an international company based in New York and London that independently provides opinions about institutions’ financial statuses, has rated Mesa County’s sales tax revenue refunding bonds at AA.

Mesa County Administrator Jon Peacock said the rating is similar to an individual’s credit rating.

“They are just saying we are in really good shape,” Peacock said.

In a company report to the county, Fitch noted the county derives 48.8 percent of its revenue from sales taxes.

It also noted that the previous 10-year average of 7.6 percent annual growth in sales tax revenues for the county is predicted to slip to just 2 percent growth in 2009.

The AA rating reflects adequate legal protections for bondholders and low debt levels, according to the report.

“The county expects to be debt-free by 2011,” according to Fitch. “The county’s financial operations are sound, generating consistent operating surpluses.”


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