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Posted on: November 13, 2017

Moody's Upgrades Passaic County Credit Rating to AA2

(Paterson, New Jersey) – Today, Moody’s Investor Services issued a credit report upgrading the County of Passaic’s general obligation bond rating to Aa2 from Aa3. The credit upgrade represents confirmation from an independent third party and subject matter expert that the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders continue to responsibly manage the budget process with conservative financial planning that protects Passaic County taxpayers. Moody’s cited Passaic County’s growing tax base, improved financial position bolstered by significant reserves, as well as manageable debt as the driving factors in the credit upgrade. The upgrade represents significant savings and direct relief for Passaic County taxpayer’s and affirms the budgetary practices and policies put into place over the last ten years.


“Today’s report from Moody’s upgrading Passaic County’s credit rating is an affirmation that the conservative budget practices and strong fiscal management by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders are driving growth, stimulating economic development, and protecting the taxpayers,” stated Passaic County Freeholder Director Cassandra “Sandi” Lazzara. “The Board of Chosen Freeholders continues to keep taxes stable while preparing for unforeseen economic events and investing in our infrastructure, parks, and human services that make Passaic County one of the best places in New Jersey to live, work, and visit.”


Moody’s credit report is determined by a number of factors, including budgetary practices, economic outlook, and financial position. Moody’s stated that the upgrade was determined based upon extrinsic evidence presented by the County of Passaic that there is a “large growing tax base” along with “management’s conservative budgeting” practices and a “stable outlook that reflects the expectation that the tax base will continue to improve at a moderate pace, finances will remain at healthy levels, and the debt and pension profile will remain level.” Additionally, Moody’s cited the significant revitalization and development taking place in Passaic County, including:


  • Better Team USA’s opening of a 16,500 square foot facility in Clifton creating 150 jobs;
  • Jimmy’s Cookies moving into a 87,280 square foot facility creating 79 jobs;
  • Driscoll Foods moving into a 562,000 square foot facility creating 139 jobs; and
  • The continued growth within the medical industry, including the redevelopment of the Roche Development Site in Clifton and the continued expansion of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson.


“This Board continues to make decisions and implement policies based upon sound financial and budget practices, not gimmicks and one-shot fixes,” stated Budget Chairman Pasquale “Pat” Lepore. “Over the last ten years we made tough decisions to get Passaic County back on sound financial footing. Moody’s credit upgrade shows that we are on the right track and are making decisions that protect Passaic County’s taxpayers while sparking investment and redevelopment. This report puts a mark of approval on the conservative budgetary practices this Board has implemented and that we are in a strong financial position moving forward.”



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