Arlington County bond rate hits record low

All three credit ratings agencies — Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s — reaffirmed Arlington County’s top AAA credit ratings this month. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/SOMATUSCANI)

Virginia’s Arlington County issued $166 million in general obligation bonds for fiscal year 2021 this month through a competitive sale, with the lowest bid coming in at an interest rate of 1.8%.

That is the lowest recorded rate for a county general bond issuance for new projects.

Arlington County’s Industrial Development Authority also issued $14 million in revenue bonds for short-term capital at an interest rate of 0.42%, and refinanced more than $238 million in existing general obligation bonds at a rate the county says will save $22.6 million in interest payments over the next 13 to 15 years.

All three credit ratings agencies — Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s — reaffirmed Arlington County’s top AAA credit ratings this month. That marked the 20th consecutive year for top creditworthiness ratings for Arlington from all three firms.

Arlington County is in good company around here.

While only 48 counties nationwide have the top credit ratings from all three agencies, the list includes Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties in Virginia, and Montgomery, Prince George’s and Howard counties in Maryland.

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