June 3, 2024

County of Maui announces AA+ bond rating by Fitch Ratings

Fitch Ratings recently affirmed the County of Maui AA+ ratings -- the second highest rating a debt issuer can receive -- adding that the County outlook is “stable.”

“Fitch’s evaluation affirms the hard work of our dedicated County of Maui Department of Finance, Budget office and Department of Management employees,” Mayor Richard Bissen said. “With our high credit rating, the County can continue to qualify for lower interest rates when we need to issue bonds to pay for large capital projects. This lowers the cost of the project significantly, and translates into much better use of Maui County taxpayer dollars for other things besides paying interest.”

Fitch affirmed the County of Maui rating in a report released May 30, 2024. The AA+ applies to Issuer Default Rating and to certain General Obligation bonds.

The rating reflects the county’s ‘AAA’ financial resilience given its high midrange budgetary flexibility and Fitch’s expectation “that the county will maintain a robust level of reserves at or above 10% of spending.”

Impacts of the 2023 Maui wildfires and responses were factored into the report.

“The county appropriated emergency funds for the immediate needs to address the fires and later set aside funds for security around the affected communities,” the report said.

Fitch's long-term rating scale ranges from 10.0 or higher ('AAA'), 9.0 ('AA+'), 8.0 ('AA'), and so forth, down to 1.0 ('BBB-' and below).

A good credit rating will save taxpayers money in Maui County. When Maui sells bonds to raise money for capital projects, it can offer a lower return and won’t have to pay as much interest on borrowed money; this will effectively reduce the cost of the project.

For the full Fitch Ratings report, visit https://tinyurl.com/4knzuzx7.