Township Committeeman, Mick Marion and Mayor Carolann Garafola, liaisons to the Township Finance Committee, are excited to announce that Moody’s Investor Services has upgraded Warren Township’s General Obligation Debt Rating to “Aaa” and has assigned a stable outlook for Warren’s financial future. The Township’s previous Moody’s rating was “Aa1.”
The upgrade of the rating is a result of a strong Township tax base, proper management of the Township’s annual budget and fund balance. Moody’s recognized the Township’s approach of conducting annual reassessments in order to have more control over the ratable base and reduces the chance of sizable tax appeals.
Mayor Garafola, who has served as Township Committee finance liaison for more than 20 years stated, “I appreciate the recognition by Moody’s Investor Service of the policies and goals of the Township Committee in ensuring the financial health of Warren Township.”
Moody’s recognized Warren Township’s proactive management of its revenues and expenditures to ensure overall financial stability and, in particular, the adoption and implementation of a formal policy that allows the Township to utilize reserves for taxpayer relief. Moody’s commended the Township for its plan to develop 3-year budget forecasting in order to enhance proactive financial management. The Township Committee implemented this approach in September 2017 for the 2018 and future budgets at the recommendation of Committeeman Mick Marion.
Warren Township’s debt obligations will remain low for the near future. Currently, the net debt is at 0.38% of the 3-year assessed valuation of the Township pursuant to State Statute. New Jersey municipalities are permitted to have a debt ratio of 3.5%, but Warren’s is only 0.38%. Moody’s recognized the Township’s philosophy, which allocates annual budget appropriations for road and infrastructure improvements allowing the Township to maintain a low debt profile.
“Warren has now been recognized by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investor Service with Aaa ratings. Such a high evaluation of our community by an independent organization is something to be very proud of,” stated Committeeman Marion.
The Township Committee’s management of Township finances, as evidenced by the Aaa bond rating, will enable the Township to continue its goal of maintaining a stable budget and the lowest municipal tax rate possible.
Committeeman George Lazo stated that, “This Aaa bond rating will enable Warren Township to reduce its borrowing costs, properly manage the budget, and ensure that Warren remains a desirable community for young families.”