Friday, May 31, 2013

Moody's changes shouldn't affect Knox

This stuff kind of boring, but certainly important, although whether it affects Knox County remains to be seen. Now, THAT was a schizophrenic sentence.

Anyhoo, here's the deal: Moody's Investors Service, a nationally recognized bond credit rating agency, is changing the way it analyzes pension plans for local governments as it puts more emphasis on the risks associated with the retirement programs. Now, I'm assuming this has to do with new GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) changes, but I'm not going to get into that. (If you know what it is, then you know the changes and don't need me to explain. If you don't know what it is, I doubt you'll care.)

Still, the bottom line is that things are going to change, and for some the outlook might not look so rosy. Right now, as I recall, Knox County has an Aa1 rating, which is its highest ever. That's mostly because we've got super low taxes and the mere fact that we can raise them without bankrupting the community makes Moody's feel all warm and fuzzy.

Still, a healthy reserve tank doesn't hurt either, so expect Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett to push to put any remaining surplus monies – and there's going to be a bunch – into the reserve tank.

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