JACKSON – Municipal officials in Jackson have announced that Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings has once again assigned its AA+ long-term rating to Jackson’s series 2020 general obligation bonds. At the same time, they said the service affirmed Jackson’s AA+ long-term rating on the township’s existing general obligation debt.
In a press release, Mayor Michael Reina said S&P took note of one of the largest projects slated for construction in Jackson: Adventure Crossings USA, a sports complex destination with hotels and restaurants.
“This over $500 million project is expected to be completed in stages over the next four years and is expected to bring in substantial additional revenues over time. We expect this will contribute to tax base growth,” S&P said in its report. “Currently, Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park remains among the township’s leading employers and anchors the economy.”
Jackson benefits, according to S&P, “from good access to broader employment bases, as well as ongoing economic development which has contributed to tax base growth and the maintenance of economic metrics in line with its peers.
“Financial performance remains strong, benefiting from conservative budgeting practices and several formal fiscal policies which have translated into sizable increases in reserves …”
According to Reina, S&P said Jackson has strong management, with good financial policies and practices; strong budgetary performance, with an operating surplus in the current fund in fiscal 2018; and very strong budgetary flexibility, with an available fund balance in fiscal 2018 of 27% of operating expenditures.
“As mayor of the third largest municipality in New Jersey, I am proud to report to our taxpayers that Standard and Poor’s has just reaffirmed our fantastic AA+ financial rating,” Reina said.
“This renewed Standard and Poor’s financial rating of AA+ is an excellent accomplishment. This is the result of a collaborative partnership between the mayor and Township Council dedicated to delivering positive and measurable results to the community,” council President Barry Calogero said.
“I commend Mayor Reina and his administrative staff on consistently presenting this council with fiscally sound budgets. We proudly boast our outstanding rating as one of the most fiscally responsible municipalities in Ocean County according to our independent auditor,” Calogero added.
Reina said Jackson’s fiscal 2020 budget is currently being crafted, with presentation and adoption expected early in the spring.
“We don’t foresee any issues that would cause budgetary pressures and, as a result, we and S&P do not expect the township’s budgetary performance to weaken over the near term.
“This is great news for taxpayers who expect and demand that we hold the line on taxes. Jackson is a growing suburban community offering an ideal environment in which families, as well as businesses, can grow and prosper,” Reina said.