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SALT LAKE COUNTY (Utah) $5.7 MIL. GOS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Salt Lake County (Utah)'s $5.7 million general obligation taxable refunding bonds, Series 1993A are rated `AAA' by Fitch. The bonds, selling competitively July 28, mature serially Sept. 1, 1994-1995. The county's outstanding $36.5 million `AAA' general obligation debt is affirmed. The credit trend is stable.
 Salt Lake County exhibits the highest credit quality fundamentals. Low debt levels, strong financial management, and large fund balance reserves are key credit strengths. Compared to the sluggish economic performance recorded in other regions of the nation, the county's economic expansion continues with job growth and low unemployment rates. Prospects are good for continued growth because of the county's well balanced economic mix and the stability provided by government, health, religious, and educational institutions.
 Financial management and planning are strong. Employment of conservative budgeting practices as well as relatively modest spending pressures have resulted in large unreserved fund balances, providing a great deal of financial flexibility. General and special revenue unreserved fund balances totaled $50 million in 1992, representing 23 percent of expenditures and debt service. In accordance with its long range strategic planning goals, the county plans on reducing fund balances slightly over the next two years, while keeping the certified tax rate at its current level. Nonetheless, large fund balance reserves are expected to be maintained in line with formal county policies.
 Debt levels are low, reflecting, in part, pay-as-you-go capital funding and very rapid amortization. Direct debt per capita and overall debt per capita are $75 and $393, respectively. Overall debt as a percent of market value is only 1.0 percent. The county increased its capital projects revolving fund this year by $2 million to $7 million. Future debt issuance plans are modest. The county will likely issue $15 million-$30 million for the county's share of Salt Palace improvements, which will likely be funded from the car rental and meal taxes. Additionally, $9 million may be issued through the building authority for a golf course.
 Despite some military industry layoffs, nonfarm employment in April was 4.1 percent higher than a year ago. The county's unemployment rate also improved over the last year, standing at a low 3.7 percent in April. The county's per capita income rose by 10.1 percent over the three-year period 1989-1991, which compares to the national growth rate of 7.9 percent. The county is experiencing net in-migration of people, many from California. Because of the demand for housing, residential home prices have increased at an estimated 15 percent annual rate over the last two years.
 -0- 7/26/93
 /CONTACT: Stewart Simon of Fitch, 212-908-0508/


CO: ST: Utah IN: SU: RTG

MP -- NY098 -- 5892 07/26/93 16:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 26, 1993
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