Herbst, Ponzio comment on Trumbull's credit rating

First Selectman Tim Herbst says that the projected increases in the state plan are more stable than the current plan.
First Selectman Tim Herbst says that the projected increases in the state plan are more stable than the current plan.

Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s Rating Services have reaffirmed Trumbull’s bond rating of a AA+, citing strong financial management and pension reform as the reasons for maintaining the strong credit rating.

The rating also noted a growing economy that has seen exceptional economic development, even in the midst of the Great Recession.

“Generally conservative budgeting and steady, moderate tax increases have allowed revenues to keep pace with spending growth,” said Fitch Ratings on Aug. 11, 2015. “Reserves have been steadily maintained at or near the Town’s informal 10% policy.”

“We consider Trumbull’s economy very strong,” said Standard and Poor’s Rating services. “Trumbull specifically has seen a recent uptick in economic development, and we note building permit activity has improved since the Great Recession.”

Standard and Poor’s also went on to note that they viewed “the town’s management as strong, with “good” financial policies and practices.”

Both rating agencies specifically lauded the Town’s approach to fully funding the annual required contribution (ARC) for Town pension systems.

“Management has taken a number of steps toward improving the funded ratios of Trumbull’s pension plans, including the implementation of a defined contribution plan for all employees,” the ratings service said.

“The Town has made important pension progress by budgeting for full funding of actuarially-based required contributions and implementing benefit structure changes to curtail the growth of this liability,” the company's statement read.

First Selectman Tim Herbst and Town Treasurer John Ponzio lauded the reports from the rating agencies and commented that Trumbull had the right plan forward to achieve a AAA credit rating.

Ponzio said that “the Wall Street rating agencies are realizing that Trumbull, over the last 6 years, has turned its financial house around from the brink of a downgrade of its credit rating to now being on the cusp of reaching the coveted AAA goal."

"This recognition continues to reward our taxpayers through lower interest on our debt and therefore lower taxes as we emerge from the worst recession on record," he added. "All Trumbull citizens should take pride in these accomplishments.”

Herbst echoed the sentiments of the town treasurer.

“As I tell people, when assessing the financial strength of a community, don’t listen to the politicians, listen to the professionals,” said Herbst.  “The professionals agree that our approach to conservative budgeting, a stable tax rate and pension reform is leading to robust economic development that is consistently growing our economy each and every year.

"It is for all of these reasons that we are well on our way to earning a AAA," he added. "There is absolutely no question that Trumbull’s fiscal house is much stronger now than it was six years ago.”