Halton secures top credit rating once again

Halton has earned yet another AAA credit rating from S&P Global Ratings, indicating a high level of international confidence in the Region and its Local Municipalities. This achievement ranks us at the top end of Canadian municipalities, and we are pleased to celebrate another year of success.

S&P Global Ratings’ decision to uphold our top credit rating is based on our excellent financial performance, low exposure to risks and high-quality financial plans, policies and reports. Their research update features a wealth of high praise for the Region’s practices, including the following:

“Halton’s management is very strong, and has consistently proven its capacity to implement its strategic plan and budget. The region provides robust, comprehensive, and transparent disclosure and has well-defined financial policies and a well-documented financial plan… it has prudent and conservative policies as well as a stable and well-qualified management team to govern its debt and liquidity management. Halton demonstrates what we view as good political and managerial strength.”

Earning the highest possible credit rating from two international rating agencies—Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa) and S&P Global Ratings (AAA)—provides the Region with access to the best capital financing rates available. We use this advantage to help your tax dollars go further when we complete major road, water and wastewater projects in Halton.

Over the next 10 years, we will invest $4.2 billion into community infrastructure, with $1.6 billion for transportation and $2.1 billion into water and wastewater. While these strategic investments will help preserve the high quality of life in Halton, our top credit rating will help the Region ensure that every dollar spent delivers maximum value for taxpayers.

Our excellent track record is the result of prudent planning, strong performance and transparent reporting. By maintaining our strong financial position supported by a top credit rating, we can maximize investments in the future to ensure Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more about our finances and investments, visit halton.ca.

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”.

Celebrating 30 years with a top credit rating

I am proud to announce that Moody’s Investors Service has upheld Halton Region’s Aaa credit rating for another year. The agency has maintained its highest rating for the Region since 1989, making this our milestone 30th year at the top.

Earning the top credit rating from two international rating agencies—Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa) and S&P Global Ratings (AAA)—provides us with access to the best capital financing rates available. This means we can fund major infrastructure projects at the lowest possible long-term costs. By leveraging this advantage, we maximize investments in Halton’s future while keeping taxes low.

Moody’s credit opinion report confirms that we continue to succeed through diligent planning and transparent reporting. It highlighted the following credit strengths as part of its analysis:

  • excellent track record of posting strong fiscal results each year, supported by stable operations and an effective multi-year budgeting process;
  • forward-looking operating and capital plans to address pressures and spending requirements early on;
  • high levels of liquidity and declining, affordable debt burden; and
  • diversified economy and strong population growth.

S&P Global Ratings upheld Halton’s top credit rating in June 2017, and earning this distinction from both agencies is a key objective of 2018 Budget and Business Plan.

The relationship between the Region’s top credit rating and infrastructure investment is essential to maintaining our strong long-term financial position. It enhances every program and service we provide while supporting low property taxes, sustainable growth, economic prosperity and a high quality of life. Our future is dependent on this strong long-term financial position that has placed us at the high end of Canadian municipalities and it helps keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To learn more, watch my video on fiscal responsibility or visit halton.ca/budget.

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”.

 

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”.

How our top credit rating helps keep Halton a great place to live

I am pleased to let you know that for a 29th consecutive year, Moody’s Investors Service has awarded its highest credit rating to Halton Region! This distinction ranks Halton at the top end of Canadian municipalities, indicating an expectation of consistent and positive financial outcomes for the years ahead.

The Aaa rating is the result of an extensive and objective third-party analysis of our financial reports, plans and practices. The Region’s Aaa credit rating allows Halton and its local municipalities to finance major investments at the lowest possible long-term costs by providing continued access to the best capital financing rates available. It ensures we can continue to maximize the community impact of every dollar we invest in the future and is essential to maintaining Halton’s strong long-term financial position.

Halton Region is a transparent, accountable and fiscally responsible government that ensures value for taxpayer dollars. Moody’s report profiles this commitment through its wealth of high praise for the Region, affirming that our fiscal policies continue to support a thriving community.

The report reads:

“Halton’s operating results are supported by strong governance and prudent fiscal policy. The Region has forward-looking operating and capital plans that allow it to address pressures and spending requirements early on. […] Management also adheres to conservative debt and investment management policies, which limit the Regional Municipality’s exposure to market-related risks and helps ensure relatively smooth debt servicing costs. These fiscal management measures are also supported by comprehensive, transparent and timely financial reporting.”  

These strengths are the foundation of our strong long-term financial position, which allows us to deliver high quality programs and services while keeping taxes low. Moody’s analysis confirms that Regional Council and staff continue to succeed by putting residents first, and I am proud that Halton Region has earned this recognition once again.

By maintaining a strong financial position, we help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more about the Region’s finances, visit halton.ca/budget.

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”.

Bright future: Halton receives another Aaa credit rating and top ranking for municipalities!

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I’m excited to share with you that we have made another exceptional achievement as a responsible government. Moody’s Investors Service has reaffirmed Halton’s Aaa credit rating for the 26th consecutive year, ranking Halton at the high end of Canadian municipalities. In its rating analysis, Moody’s credits this remarkable record to our “prudent fiscal management practices and commitment to long-term planning”, which have resulted in strong operating budgetary results and a moderate debt burden.

The report states:

“Halton displays strong governance and management characteristics. The Region has forward looking operating and capital plans to address pressures and spending requirements early on. In addition, management adheres to conservative debt and investment management policies which limit the Regional Municipality’s exposure to market related risks and helps ensure relatively smooth debt servicing costs. These fiscal management measures are also supported by comprehensive, transparent and timely financial reporting.”

Moody’s high praise illustrates Halton’s ongoing commitment to being a transparent, accountable and fiscally responsible government. Maintaining our Aaa credit rating is a vital part of this promise to residents, because it gives the Region, as well as its Local Municipalities, access to the best possible financing rates for infrastructure projects and other large initiatives. These savings minimize the long-term cost to taxpayers while maximizing the community impact of every dollar spent.

The plans and policies praised in Moody’s report represent one of Council’s most important priorities: ensuring value for taxpayers. Their confidence in us confirms that Regional Council and staff continue to move in the right direction by putting residents first. The Aaa rating, as well as the strategies that helped us achieve it, are critical to maintaining Halton’s strong long-term financial position, which will allow us to deliver high-quality programs, services and infrastructure for years to come.

By maintaining our strong financial foundation and perfect credit rating, we can continue to invest in a bright future, keeping Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To learn more, visit halton.ca/budget.

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”.

Halton is a great place to live

Halton is a great place to live and Regional Council is committed to making fiscally, responsible decisions that ensure we provide high quality services that contribute to your quality of life, making it an ideal place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

Last December, Regional Council approved the 2014 Budget and Business Plan and for the fourth time in eight years (2008, 2010, 2011 and 2014), we were able to reduce property taxes on Regional programs and services while maintaining and enhancing service levels. Over the past eight years, we have either reduced or frozen taxes. This is one of the best records in all of Canada. Once again this year, we have achieved a AAA credit rating.  This is the highest credit rating that can be achieved and it is acknowledgment of Halton’s strong financial position. Our AAA credit rating and reduced taxes demonstrates that we have been managing your tax dollars efficiently and effectively. 

Regional Council is committed to policies that ensure Halton is resident focused, well planned and safe and healthy. Value to you as a taxpayer is a critical component of decision making at Council.  We are fiscally responsible with the Regional budget and have been planning our infrastructure needs (roads, waste management, water/wastewater treatment) so that strategic investments now ensure we meet infrastructure needs in the future with minimal impact to you as a taxpayer. We are also focused on services that contribute to a safe and healthy community so that you can continue to enjoy a high quality of life in Halton.

As a regional government, we continue to build on our record of customer service excellence. In January, our Access Halton group was recognized by the Service Quality Measurement Group (SQM) as a Service Quality Award of Excellence Winner for 2013. Halton received a Highest Customer Service (government) award and survey results indicated 92 per cent of callers were satisfied overall with their call centre experience. These results are a great achievement given that in 2013, Access Halton managed 304,354 calls and 9,282 emails.

Great things are happening in Halton. To learn more, I invite you to take a look at my video blog, The State of the Region, at www.youtube.com/haltonchair.

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.”

Managing Your Tax Dollars Effectively and Efficiently

Halton Region has frozen or reduced property taxes on Regional programs and services for eight straight years.  This is one of the best records in all of Canada.  In 2013, for the 23rd year in a row, Halton Region achieved a AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor’s.  By maintaining our AAA credit rating and reducing our taxes we ensure Halton is competitive which attracts jobs and investment to our community. Our AAA rating and tax reduction attracts companies like Target, Siemens, Toronto Premium Outlets and Gypsum Technologies Inc. making Halton a hotspot for business. 

Halton Region has one of the best records in Canada for keeping taxes low while maintaining and enhancing service levels. Our AAA credit rating and reduced taxes demonstrates that we have been managing your tax dollars efficiently and effectively.  Join me on a walk through downtown Burlington as I reflect on Regional Council’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.

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.”