The Borough of Avalon has achieved an AAA bond rating from Standard and Poor’s, the highest rating offered by the financial service. The AAA rating was confirmed in a letter sent to the Borough on October 11th, 2018. Avalon has now maintained an AAA bond rating with both Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Investment services for over a decade.
“This rating is an outstanding achievement for the Borough that is a direct reflection on how the Borough manages its financial affairs”, said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi. “The AAA bond rating ensures that the Borough will save hundreds of thousands of dollars when bonding is necessary for major projects in our community”.
The Borough has achieved other financial milestones during 2018. Avalon has the lowest municipal tax rate in Cape May County with a rate of 19.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. And, Avalon has the lowest overall tax rate of any developed community in the State of New Jersey at 48.8 cents. The overall tax rate includes municipal, library, county, school, and open space taxes.
The Avalon Borough Council Finance Committee consisting of councilmembers Charles Covington and Dr. Nancy Hudanich meets with the Finance Department and department heads to draft the municipal budget for the following year. “Managing a community’s finances is not an occasional job, but an everyday task”, Pagliughi said. “Avalon recognizes these financial milestones courtesy of over 20 shared services and privatization agreements that improve services while saving taxpayers’ dollars. Avalon also aggressively pays down debt, puts more money down than what is required for capital projects, and continues to secure grant funding for necessary capital projects”.
In the letter submitted to the Borough by Standard and Poor’s, it notes the following:
-Very strong budgetary flexibility, with an available fund balance in fiscal 2017 of 28% of operating expenditures;
-A strong institutional framework score;
-The expectation for the Borough to maintain its strong market value over the next two years; and
-Available fund balance at the conclusion of 2017 at $7.3 million, with “very strong” liquidity.
At the end of 2018, it is expected that the Borough will have over $9 billion in property value, with over $97 million in added assessments throughout the year. In 2019, capital projects including street reconstruction, a new park and playground, and a pilot project for a nesting turtle habitat will all be completed with the assistance of various grant funding.