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News Releases 2020

Posted on: September 3, 2020

Jackson County receives upgrade in bond credit rating

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 3, 2020

 

Jackson County receives upgrade in bond credit rating

County Executive makes announcement after State Treasurer presents check for more than $10,000 in unclaimed property

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. is proud to announce today that Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Jackson County’s bond credit rating to Aa1, the second-highest rating possible.

The County’s upgrade will mean substantial savings to taxpayers in the future. In addition, the upgrade is notable since it comes amid a global pandemic that is causing significant hardship for cities, counties, and states across the nation. Sadly, many others have been forced to lay off, furlough or terminate hard-working public employees, cut services, and are at risk of defaulting on bond payments.

However, thanks to County Executive White’s leadership, the Administration has been able to work with the County Legislature to dramatically improve Jackson County’s financial position while also:

  • Fully implementing a third-party compensation study
  • Ensuring that all county associates are paid a competitive wage and no full-time associate ever makes below a living wage
  • Expanding and improving associate’s health insurance options, without passing on the costs to hard-working associates
  • Increasing funding for the county’s pension plan to the highest levels in the County’s history

Additionally, the County has taken other steps to reduce the burden on taxpayers, such as reselling Arrowhead Stadium seats and using those funds to make County Parks playgrounds accessible for all.

“This credit rating upgrade is a testament to my belief that if you work hard, do the right thing and ignore the political noise, you can make a difference,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “With the support of the Legislature, we have implemented responsible financial practices that have allowed us to efficiently manage taxpayer dollars and that should make all Jackson County residents proud. We look forward to continue putting in the work to maintain this positive momentum.”

Moody’s says the credit rating upgrade reflects the County’s large and growing tax base, as well as a sustained trend of sound financial operations, including healthy operating reserves, manageable debt and pension burdens. The high rating will help the County reduce its borrowing costs and increase savings for taxpayers in the future. You can read Moody’s full press release here.

“I’d like to commend the County Executive and Legislature for working together and making the hard decisions that led to this great news,” said Jackson County Administrator Troy Schulte. “The Director of Finance and his staff have put in countless hours to carry out the Executive and Legislature’s vision to improve and protect the County’s financial health.”

Additionally, Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick today added to Jackson County’s financial coffers as he returned $13,354.05 in unclaimed property to County Executive White (see attached picture). The County will review the sources of the unclaimed property funds to determine where the money needs to go and how it can be used.

The Missouri State Treasurer holds $1 billion in unclaimed property for Missouri in more than 5 million owner accounts. Known as Missouri’s Largest Lost & Found, one in 10 Missourians has unclaimed property and the average return is $300. Missourians can search the Treasurer’s database for their unclaimed property 24/7 at www.ShowMeMoney.com.

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