MEDIA CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County’s responsible fiscal management has once again paid off, said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes today upon receiving word that Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has affirmed the county’s general obligation (GO) debt rating at AA+ and declared its outlook “stable.”

In its latest report issued June 5, 2013, S&P assigned its “AA+” long-term rating to Mercer County Community College’s general obligation bonds series 2013 and affirmed its “AA+” long-term rating and underlying rating (SPUR) on the County's outstanding general obligation (GO) debt.

The rating service also affirmed the “AA+” long-term rating on Mercer County Improvement Authority, NJ's outstanding general obligation debt, which the county guarantees.

“Although we’re still facing difficult economic times, our long-term fiscal prudence has kept us on solid ground,” Hughes said. “I’m pleased that Standard & Poor’s has recognized that by affirming the County’s AA+ rating.”

S&P noted Mercer County’s “steady financial performance and the maintenance of good reserve levels stabilized by ongoing tax base expansion.” In its report, S&P cited as factors for its affirmation Mercer County’s diverse employment base, its five institutions of higher learning, its vast healthcare technology sector, its hosting of state government and its geographic position between New York and Philadelphia.

S&P also recognized Mercer County’s “manageable’’ capital improvement plan, stable financial position and its low debt, according to the report.

“We’ve taken great pains to find ways to provide critical programs and services that meet the needs of our residents, while keeping expenditure growth within the State-mandated cap,” Hughes said. “And while times are still tough, the surge of economic activity that’s starting to take shape in Mercer County bodes well for the future.”