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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Prince George's County receives highest bond rating from Moody's in history

Some good news!

And this was accomplished without repealing TRIM even though I remember some candidates telling me in 2002 that we had to repeal TRIM or our bond rating would drop.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Prince Georges County Media
Date: May 24, 2007 4:15 PM

Press Release

For immediate release:

May 24, 2007

For more information:

Denise Roberts
Press Information Officer
Prince George
's County
Office of the County Executive
301-952-5381, cell 240-4178013


UPPER MARLBORO, MD - Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson announced today that Prince George's County received the highest bond rating from Moody's Investors Service in its history.

Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's"), one of the three bond rating agencies, upgraded the county's general obligation bonds from Aa2 to Aa1 for $245.2 million in bonds to finance capital improvements. Of this amount, $134.8 million will finance capital improvements and $110.3 million will refinance the county's prior outstanding bonds.

The improved bond rating lowers the county's cost of building roads, public safety facilities, storm water facilities, college and school facilities, saving taxpayers millions of dollars, Johnson said. This is the second upgrade from Moody's during the last three years. Moody's upgraded the county's bond rating from Aa3 to Aa2 in 2004.

This is the fourth straight year with an increase and each of the three rating agencies has upgraded the county's rating since Johnson took office. No other jurisdiction has ever received improvements in bond ratings during four consecutive years.

"Moody's rating analysts' visit to Prince George's County on April 30 and our presentation to the Wall Street rating agencies 10 days ago have expanded their view of the county's growth and prosperity," Johnson said. "I am extremely excited that Moody's has recognized the tremendous growth that we are making here in Prince George's County.

"The county's economy remains very strong with increasing income levels and a growing tax base. We expect to continue this economic growth as we continue to expand our commercial and residential tax base," Johnson said. "I am also proud that Moody's continues to value our sound financial management practices and policies. Their two upgrades during the last three years reflect the confidence they have in my administration to move the county forward."

Reaching its decision, Moody's justified the rating upgrade based on the diversity and sustained growth of the county's sizable economy and the county's strong financial position, supported by healthy reserves and comprehensive fiscal policies, county's manageable debt burden and management's ability to operate efficiently within a local revenue cap.

Moody's reported: "The county continues to experience strong growth in new office, industrial, and retail investment, including the completion of 350,000 square feet of office space and 222,000 square feet of industrial space during 2006 alone. Major projects in development or under construction represent more than $2.2 billion of capital investment. The 350-acre National Harbor project, a $500 million development scheduled to open in April 2008, will combine 500,000 square feet of Class-A office space and 1 million square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space with a 2,000-room hotel and convention center complex. County officials report that more than 900,000 room nights have been booked at the anchor hotel to date and that four of five additional hotels planned for the site will open during 2008. The county expects to gain an additional 8.7 million square feet of office space, 1.5 million square feet of research and development space, and more than 4,100 residential units with the completion of various other mixed-use developments currently under construction, including transit-oriented high-density projects at various metro stations throughout the county.

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