Newsday newsday.com 25 Nov, 2021 00:30 am

Agency upgrades Suffolk bond rating to highest level since 2017

S&P Global Ratings upgraded Suffolk County’s bond rating by a notch, from BBB+ to A- on Monday, the first time the agency has given Suffolk such a high mark since 2017. The ratings agency gave Suffolk

The ratings agency gave Suffolk a positive outlook, citing "significant improvement to the county’s finances" because of high sales tax revenues and an influx of federal pandemic aid, according to a ratings report.Suffolk’s finances improved after receiving more than $570 million in federal pandemic aid, millions of dollars in opioid legal settlements and an estimated $360 million in 2021 sales tax revenue surpluses, officials said.The agency cautioned that Suffolk "remains more vulnerable" to economic downturns because it relies so heavily on sales tax revenues and still has limited reserve funds." On Monday, S & P gave Suffolk’s general obligation bonds an A-, its lease revenue bonds BBB+ and long-term serial bonds an A-.

The ratings agency last gave Suffolk the A- score in 2017 as part of a downgrade from A.The ratings agency credited Suffolk with improved budgeting practices and plans to add to reserves and pay off $243.

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