Maintaining a strong financial position for a bright future

I am proud to share that once again, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its highest credit rating for Halton Region! The AAA rating came with high praise for our financial management practices, and the agency’s research update described a stable outlook for our future.

MidHalton ConstructionOur top credit rating allows Halton and its Local Municipalities to finance major projects at the lowest possible long-term costs by providing continued access to the best capital financing rates available. This means it helps us keep taxes low and maximize investments in Halton’s future while minimizing the cost for taxpayers.

Halton’s credit rating is assessed by two international agencies, each issuing opinions annually: Moody’s Investors Service, whose highest rating is “Aaa”, and S&P Global Ratings, whose highest rating is “AAA”. Consistently earning the highest ratings from both agencies places us at the top end of Canadian municipalities, and has become increasingly rare for jurisdictions around the world.

The agencies assign their ratings based on financial performance, exposure to risks, and quality of financial planning and reporting. For Halton, S&P Global Ratings’ decision was based on:

  • our strong, diverse and growing economy with excellent access to GTA markets;
  • our strong financial management practices, prudent policies, robust budgets and transparent annual reports;
  • our strong, stable budget performance and low debt; and
  • our exceptional access to liquid funds from internal and external sources.

Our top credit rating is the foundation of our strong financial position, which is supported by an ongoing three-part cycle that includes planning and reporting as well as performance. At the July 12 meeting of Regional Council, we approved the 2018 Budget Directions Report, which will help ensure next year’s budget keeps tax increases at or below the rate of inflation while preserving our top credit rating. Meanwhile, the upcoming 2016 Annual Financial Report will provide an in-depth analysis of Halton’s finances and help inform the next credit opinion from Moody’s Investors Service in January. Each part of this process is connected to ensure transparency and accountability for residents.

We are proud to have achieved a top credit rating for 29 years, and this distinction is the direct result of our diligent planning and transparent reporting. By maintaining a top credit rating and strong long-term financial position, we can continue to make investments that help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

I encourage you to learn more about fiscal responsibility at Halton—to view our award-winning financial plans, policies and reports that demonstrate how we succeed by putting residents first, visit halton.ca/finances.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.