LaFayette, GA (June 23, 2023) – Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Walker County, GA’s credit rating today following a multi-year trend of strong financial performance. Moody’s raised the county’s issuer rating from A1 to Aa3, which moves Walker County into the “high quality” category for obligations with a “very low credit risk.”
“This improvement in the county’s credit rating provides validation from an impartial source that we’re on the right track financially,” said Shannon Whitfield, Chairman, Walker County Board of Commissioners. “Over the past six years, we’ve targeted debt reduction in an effort to restore our county’s credibility and ultimately save taxpayer dollars.”
In their credit opinion, Moody’s cited a fundamental improvement in the governance of the county, the early repayment of a line of credit associated with the Erlanger judgement, a multi-year improvement in reserves, and the gradual pay down of the county’s long-term liabilities as reasons for the credit upgrade.
Moody’s last changed Walker County’s credit rating four years ago, when the county issued Series 2019 bonds to refinance outstanding debt from 2015 at a lower interest rate. The Series 2019 bonds were issued at 2.64%, compared to a 5.2% rate with the Series 2015 bonds. The refinance saved taxpayers $3,921,475 in interest and reduced the life of the bond by five years.