The AAA rating is the highest awarded by S&P, a feat only 15 Connecticut towns have accomplished.
The higher rating will mean better interest rates and lower debt payments on the town’s long-term bonds.
S&P cited six factors in upgrading Brookfield’s credit rating:
- Very strong economy, which benefits from participation in the broad and diverse economy of Fairfield County and proximity to the Westchester County and New York City employment centers;
- Strong budgetary flexibility with 2012 audited reserves at 9.1 percent of general fund expenditures;
- Adequate budgetary performance, which takes into account a revenue stream we consider stable and predictable;
- Very strong liquidity providing very strong cash levels to cover both debt service and expenditures;
- Strong management with good financial policies; and
- Very strong debt and contingent liabilities position.
“The stable outlook reflects our view of Brookfield’s continued consistent financial performance and underlying economy supported by strong management,” S&P wrote in their outlook assessment, issued Oct. 23. “We do not expect to change the rating in our two-year outlook horizon due to our expectation that the town will maintain very strong budget flexibility and adequate financial performance.”
“We also expect the underlying economy to remain very strong,” the rating agency added.
Brookfield First Selectman Bill Davidson (who is running for Selectman in November on the Democratic line) lauded the town’s new AAA rating.
“The achievement of this AAA S&P rating reflects the town’s prudent financial management, financial strength and low debt,” he said.
Moody’s reaffirmed Brookfield’s Aa1 rating on the town’s long-term bonds — just below a perfect Aaa rating — and gave a MIG 1 rating — the agency’s highest — for the town’s short-term bonds.
“The Aa1 rating and stable outlook reflect the town’s stable tax base, above average wealth levels, positive financial operations and low debt burden,” Moody’s analysts wrote Tuesday. “The MIG 1 rating incorporates the town’s strong underlying credit profile as well as demonstrated access to the capital markets.”