Cobb County rated AAA by Fitch for 24th straight year

Cobb County government building in article about rental assistanceCobb County government building (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Cobb County issued a press announcing that the county had maintained its AAA rating with Fitch.

Fitch describes the AAA rating as follows:

AAA ratings denote the lowest expectation of default risk. They are assigned only in cases of exceptionally strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is highly unlikely to be adversely affected by foreseeable events.

The count’s press release reads as follows:

In the most challenging economic environment in more than a decade, financial rating firm Fitch Ratings confirmed Cobb County’s status as a “AAA” rated county.

This represents the highest rating possible for the county’s financial outlook. Other rating agencies have indicated they will also follow suit.

The Fitch Ratings analysts cited Cobb County’s history of conservative budgeting and proactive measures in the face of an uncertain economic future caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The county is well-positioned to withstand the current period of economic weakness due to its sound reserves and superior inherent budget flexibility,” the agency said in a news release.

“The fact that we had our AAA rating reaffirmed during the most challenging economic time in a dozen years shows the fiscal soundness of the county,” said Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike
Boyce. “It is a tribute to our staff, the board, and our work with the community to make sure we continue to show diversity in our county’s economic base.”

Fitch pointed to the county’s reaction to the last recession as one of the reasons it has confidence Cobb County can weather whatever lies ahead.

“This is exciting news, and I couldn’t be prouder that Cobb County is one of three counties in the state with a AAA rating from all agencies,” said County Manager Dr. Jackie McMorris. “I’m especially proud of our finance team for their fiscal prudence during difficult and challenging times. Thanks to the Board of Commissioners for making the tough decisions that have allowed us to maintain our AAA rating, especially in the current environment.”

The rating is good news for taxpayers, allowing the county to save money when borrowing money for routine operations or special needs. Cobb County must borrow money each year on a short-term basis to bridge the time from budget adoption to when taxes are collected.

Chairman Boyce will present the fiscal year 2021 budget to the board later this summer that includes a steady millage rate.

NOTE: You can view the Fitch Ratings release by visiting this link: