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S&P Lowers St. Louis County Bond Rating

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(ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/GettyImages)

(ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/GettyImages)

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CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) – Standard & Poor’s has lowered St. Louis County’s bond rating from AAA to AA-plus. The ratings agency announced the news Thursday.

The move reflects S&P’s new criteria for rating general-obligation bonds which makes the ratings more transparent and forward-looking.

AAA is the highest rating given by Standard & Poor’s.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, who touted the county’s AAA credit rating during his 2010 campaign, says the downgrade reflects a change in S&P, not St. Louis County.

“Nothing has changed in St. Louis County. The ratings system changed their categories,” Dooley said. “St. Louis County is still very solid and is still the best-run government as far as a fiscal responsibility and a budget process, it is still intact.”

In a news release, S$P credit analyst John Kenward also applauded the county’s strong economy and budgetary process.

“The stable outlook reflects St. Louis County’s very strong management and our expectation that the rating will not change in the next two years because we believe the county will take the steps necessary to maintain its very strong budgetary flexibility and liquidity,” Kenward said.

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