East Hampton Town Maintains Top-Tier Credit Rating

East Hampton Town Hall.

The Town of East Hampton has maintained a top-tier, AAA credit rating, Moody’s Investors Services said last week. According to town officials, in preparation for an August 15 sale of $16.5 million in general obligation bonds for the town, Moody’s affirmed the town’s financial status continues to warrant a AAA rating, which the town received in 2017.

The rating is the highest rating given by Moody’s.

Moody’s cited the Town’s “conservative budgeting and proactive financial management practices” as well as its “modest debt burden” and “sizeable tax base” as factors in the triple-A rating and stable outlook.

East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in a press release issued last week that the town “is very satisfying to have Moody’s acknowledge through our AAA rating the Town’s strong financial position as well as the work we have been doing to maintain that strength. Our substantial financial reserves and surplus were particularly noted by Moody’s as factors that have allowed us to maintain the highest rating possible.” The Supervisor added that “strong reserves and intelligent and measured use of those reserves has catapulted us to the highest rating achievable. We will continue to do everything possible through our budgeting and spending policies, which were lauded by Moody’s, to maintain those reserves at the high levels expected for a triple-A credit.”

“Moody’s was very supportive of the town’s conservative budgeting of expenses and especially revenue which is very sensitive to sudden economic shifts,” said town budget officer Len Bernard. “During the Moody’s presentation, they agreed with the town’s conservative approach to budgeting volatile revenue streams like mortgage tax and building permit fees. These types of revenues can fluctuate from year to year and could create problems if too aggressively projected, as was the case 10 years ago.”

The bonds being sold will be used to finance a variety of projects such as the town-wide emergency communication system upgrade, new records management system, new airport fuel facility, and structural improvements to the East Hampton RECenter.