King County, WA's Series 2019A Limited-Tax GO Refunding Bonds Assigned 'AAA' Rating

SAN FRANCISCO (S&P Global Ratings) Feb. 1, 2019--S&P Global Ratings assigned 
its 'AAA' long-term rating to King County, Wash.'s 2019A limited-tax general 
obligation (GO) refunding bonds, with a planned par amount of $43 million. 

At the same time, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its outstanding:

  • 'AAA' long-term rating and underlying rating (SPUR) on King County's existing GO bonds;
  • 'AAA' long-term rating on the King County Housing Authority's (KCHA) existing bonds, which are backed by a contingent loan agreement and credit enhancement agreement with the county;
  • 'AAA' long-term rating on certain county GO bonds that are also backed by a second-lien pledge of sewer revenues; and
  • 'AAA' long-term rating on certain county lease revenue bonds.
The outlook on all ratings is stable.

"The ratings reflect our view of King County's dynamic and diverse economic 
strength; effective, performance-oriented management; and robust fiscal 
performance," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Benjamin Geare. 

The stable outlook reflects our view of the county's very strong economy with 
access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area, as well as our 
expectation that the county will continue to maintain very strong reserves and 
strong budgetary performance. We do not anticipate changing the ratings during 
the two-year outlook period.

We could lower the ratings if the county's financial flexibility deteriorates 
to a level we consider adequate, or if economic scores worsen. 

The 2019A bond proceeds will be used to refund certain of the county's 
outstanding bonds for interest savings and to replace its outstanding 
variable-rate debt with fixed-rate debt.