Respected Wall Street credit agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P Global Ratings) has boosted the Town of Hempstead’s credit rating from AA- to AA, among the highest levels available, and lauded America’s largest township for “strong” financial management and “conservative budgeting.” In addition, Standard & Poor’s has designated the Town of Hempstead with a stable outlook.
Under the leadership of Supervisor Don Clavin and a bipartisan Hempstead Town Board, the Town of Hempstead has now been awarded two credit rating upgrades from two renowned Wall Street credit rating agencies in a span of 10 months – Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s. In December of 2020, Moody’s awarded the Town of Hempstead with a credit rating upgrade from Aa2 to Aa1.
Both ratings were made in recognition of the sound fiscal stewardship of the township by Clavin and his colleagues on the Town Board, including Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., Councilman Tom Muscarella, and Councilman Chris Carini. Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver Jeanine Driscoll also joined today’s announcement.
“The hard work and dedication to the taxpayers on the part of my administration and that of my colleagues is paying dividends for Hempstead Town homeowners,” said Clavin. “Earning among the highest credit ratings of any local government on Long Island is a major accomplishment. To be able to earn the upgrade at the same time as the town has frozen taxes demonstrates that strong fiscal management and the highest regard for taxpayers can go hand-in-hand.”
Standard & Poor’s lauded the town’s “conservative budgeting and concerted cost-saving measures implemented,” in addition to “strong management” and “strong budgetary performance.” The Wall Street credit rating agencies commended the Town of Hempstead for a “continuously improved” financial position since 2016. Standard and Poor’s also touted the Town of Hempstead’s “good financial policies” and “strong budgetary flexibility,” and a “strong institutional framework score.”
"We have revised our view of Hempstead’s management to strong from adequate, reflecting good financial policies,” Standard & Poor’s wrote in its report. “Hempstead’s budgetary performance is strong in our opinion,” S&P added later in the report.
“At the Town of Hempstead, we’re continuing to manage our budget responsibly, while controlling taxes and providing essential services and programs for our residents,” Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. “We’re proud that Wall Street credit agencies are once again recognizing our strong financial management and policies, which benefit neighbors across America’s largest township.”
“Working with Supervisor Don Clavin and my colleagues on the Town Board, we continue to deliver for taxpayers,” Councilman Bruce Blakeman said. “In the midst of a global pandemic, we’ve frozen taxes for 2021 and are working on providing tax relief in the 2022 budget. The credit rating boosts by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s signify the Town of Hempstead’s fiscal strength, responsible budgeting, and the ongoing collaboration of the Clavin administration and a bipartisan Town Board.”
“The news of yet another credit rating upgrade illustrates the commitment of Supervisor Clavin and the Hempstead Town Board to provide taxpayers with superlative quality of life and providing tax relief while budgeting responsibly and demonstrating strong financial management,” Councilman Anthony D’Esposito said. “That’s how we continue to earn the trust of those on Main Street while gaining the respect of Wall Street.”
The credit ratings boosts come on the heels of a Town of Hempstead tax freeze for fiscal year 2021 to be followed by a tax cut in the Supervisor’s proposed 2022 budget. What’s more, the Town of Hempstead’s credit rating upgrade to Moody’s second-highest possible rating level in 2020 was also accompanied by a glowing review of the township’s fiscal policies by Moody’s analysts. The synopsis of the reviewers noted that the Clavin administration’s “financial management [of the Town] is strong…” and that “financial operations are likely to remain sound given conservative budgeting and active management.
“I’m proud to work with Supervisor Clavin and my colleagues on the Town Board to provide residents with top-notch programs and essential services, while maintaining strong budgeting practices and demonstrating the highest regard for taxpayers,” Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr. said.
“Gaining credit rating boosts from not one, but two Wall Street credit rating agencies in less than a year is quite an achievement, particularly in the midst of a pandemic that has negatively impacted governments across our nation,” Councilman Tom Muscarella added. “The credit rating upgrades signify the Town of Hempstead’s strong financial standing among top Wall Street agencies, while also demonstrating our commitment to taxpayers,” Councilman Chris Carini said.
The tangible benefits this credit rating upgrade presents to the Town of Hempstead are vast. The superior rating allows for reduced costs related to future governmental borrowing as well as the refinancing of debt – significant savings that translate to a more manageable tax burden for township residents.
“I am committed to making our municipal government work more leanly without compromising the high quality of services Town of Hempstead residents have come to expect from America’s largest township,” said Clavin. “My colleagues on the Town Board and I will continue exploring new ways to save money while ensuring we maintain the sound fiscal policies that earned the Town of Hempstead words of praise from the renowned financiers at Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.”