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MONMOUTH COUNTY (NJ) $35.9 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Monmouth County (NJ)'s $35.9 million General Obligation Bonds, Series 1993 are rated 'AA+' by Fitch. The bonds are selling competitively on July 8 and consist of $10 million General Improvement Bonds, Series 1993A and $25.9 Refunding Bonds, Series 1993B. The rating reflects the county's above-average income residential tax base and affordable debt levels as well as its strong financial performance throughout the prolonged regional economic slowdown. The rating also applies to the county's $208 million in other outstanding general obligations. The credit trend is stable.
 As one of the New Jersey's fastest-growing counties during the 1980s, Monmouth's population increased by nearly 10 percent to 553,124 in 1990. Per capita personal income, at $27,326 in 1991, is 108 percent of the state average and 143 percent of the national level. Population growth and development have slowed significantly since the recession's onset in 1990. Employment in the county fell in 1990 and 1991. Based on the latest available data, private employment was up slightly in the first three quarters of 1992 compared to the same period a year earlier.
 Fort Monmouth, employing 7,765 civilians, concentrates on electronics and computer research. The Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission recently recommended an increase in base responsibilities with the addition of up to 500 civilian jobs gained from the closure of an installation in another state.
 Debt levels are affordable. Including the effect of this issuance, overall debt per capita is about average at $1,240. However, the debt burden on the large tax base is a below-average 1.7 percent. Direct debt payout is very rapid at more than 75 percent in 10 years.
 Financial management and operations are strong, with continued additions to the fund balance despite the recession. The county's $17.9 million 1992 current fund balance represented 6.3 percent of revenues. The county's 1993 budget is conservative, providing for selective hiring authorizations and a 6 percent property tax rate increase due to assessed value declines. Nonpersonnel costs are frozen at 1992 levels.
 -0- 7/6/93
 /CONTACT: Stewart Simon, 212-908-0508, of Fitch/


CO: ST: New Jersey IN: SU: RTG

LR -- NY038 -- 8632 07/06/93 12:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 6, 1993
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