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Town of Oyster Bay receives third credit rating upgrade of the year

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For the third time this year, a Wall Street Credit Rating Agency has upgraded the Town of Oyster Bay for its progress in repairing municipal finances.

On July 9, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings upgraded the town’s long-term credit rating by two notches, from BBB- to BBB+. This recognition is the third time in 2020 that the town received an upgrade. It represents the fourth upgrade received by the town since Supervisor Joseph Saladino took office in 2017.

In awarding the credit rating increase, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings cited the town’s “improved budgetary performance leading to a substantially improved financial position.” The report further touted the town’s cost cutting and resolution of legal challenges which were resolved without financial effect.

In February, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the town’s long-term credit rating while maintaining its “positive” outlook. In July, Moody’s upgraded the town’s long-term and short-term credit rating.

Now, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings upgraded the town’s long-term credit rating. The Wall Street firm last upgraded the town’s rating from junk to investment grade in 2018 and affirmed its stable outlook.

Since taking office in 2017, Saladino and the board have cut property taxes while reducing debt and the operational budget deficit. Both the 2019 and 2020 town budgets sustained the $1.3 million property-tax cut approved by the board for 2018 by implementing a plan that froze taxes in both years. That resulted in a $3.9 million savings for taxpayers.

Total town debt has also declined, from a high of $763 million to $603 million at the beginning of 2020, bringing the administration’s three-year cumulative debt reduction to $160 million.

Additionally, Saladino and the board eliminated a multi-year operational deficit, which hit a high of $44 million under the prior administration, turning it into a $27.4 million surplus as of last December.