County's strong economy underpins high credit rating

Oakland County continues to attain the highest credit scores a government can have because of the county’s growing tax base, strong economy, and healthy fiscal practices. That’s according to Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings. Moody’s has assigned a short-term MIG 1 rating to Oakland County’s $25 million Delinquent Tax Anticipation Notes while S&P assigned its ‘SP-1+’ short-term rating.

“University of Michigan economists recently ranked 109 counties across America according to prosperity. It is clear from those rankings Oakland County has the strongest economy in Michigan and one of the strongest economies in the country,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Among the benefits of being Michigan’s strongest economy is having the highest credit score possible.”

Oakland County ranked 19th overall of the 109 counties, according to a U of M prosperity analysis. Macomb County ranked 55th and Wayne County 103rd. The ratings were based on indicators such as median family income, number of residents employed in managerial or professional roles, and the percentage of residents with college degrees.

“The AAA bond rating is a sign of Oakland County’s great economic strength and it translates into lower costs for Oakland County taxpayers,” County Treasurer Andy Meisner said.

S&P acknowledged the strength of Oakland County’s delinquent tax collection program as another reason it is confident in the county’s credit worthiness.

Each year, all delinquent taxes payable to the county and to all the underlying taxing units within it are turned over to Meisner for collection. The county annually issues notes to fund the delinquent tax program. It uses the note proceeds, along with unrestricted cash on hand from its residual delinquent tax revolving fund, to distribute amounts equal to the delinquent taxes to the local taxing units, effectively making them whole. In return, the county receives and keeps the delinquent taxes as they are collected.