County Maintains Double Triple A Ratings


In a reflection of the financial management efforts of New Hanover County officials and an improving economy, both Moody’s Investor Services and Standard & Poor’s Rating Service reaffirmed triple A ratings for the county. Earning the top rating from both credit rating services is something only 3 percent of U.S. counties achieves, a county press release said.

The ratings ensure that New Hanover County can borrow money at the lowest possible interest rates.

“This will save the citizens money,” County Finance Director Lisa Wutzbacher told Lumina News.

Wurtzbacher said the rating is a reflection of several factors, some the county control, and others it doesn’t. Factors include local economic performance, taxes and employment rates, as well as county management practices and operations, she said.

According to a county press release, Moody’s notes a stable outlook for the county with an expectation of  “continued sound financial performance, conservative budgeting practices and growth within the county’s local tax base.”

Moody’s has rated New Hanover County triple Asince 2010 while S&P has bestowed the AAA rating since 2013.

“New Hanover County, by any measure, is a safe, healthy, and secure community, and it also reflects a smart investment,” County Manager Chris Coudriet said.

Only six other North Carolina counties have the highest ratings from both Moody’s and S&P, the release said.

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