Bossier Parish’s financial condition is considered stable and in a position to continue moving forward according to a report from what is considered the nation’s largest of the Big Three credit-rating agencies.
S&P Global Ratings, previously Standard & Poors, assigned a rating of AA-, based on all relevant financial information including loans, debt and other outstanding financial obligations.
In its report to the parish, S&P Global said the agency “…views the outlook for this rating as stable.”
“We’re very pleased with the results of this report,” said Bossier Parish Administrator Bill Altimus. “This positive rating is the result of many people working diligently to maintain a positive financial position.”
While many local and state governments are struggling with the negative effects of the current COVID pandemic, the S&P Global analysis found Bossier Parish to be in a positive position.
“In our opinion, finances remain very strong, which will further insulate, coupled with Barksdale’s (Air Force Base) presence, any future pressure from a prolonged pandemic or related recent recessionary pressure,” the report noted.
Also, the report found Bossier Parish possesses:
- Adequate economy, with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area (MSA);
- Adequate financial management, with standard financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment (FMA) methodology;
- Adequate budgetary performance, with an operating surplus in the general fund but an operating deficit at the total governmental-fund level in fiscal 2019;
- Very strong budgetary flexibility, with available fund balance in fiscal 2019 at 90% of operating expenditures;
- Very strong liquidity, with total government available cash at 63.5% of total governmental-fund expenditures and 6.6x governmental debt service, and access to external liquidity we consider strong;
- Very strong institutional framework score.
“We realize as well as anyone the issues facing other parishes, our state and the nation,” Altimus said. “We also know that even in the middle of these very hard times we must continue to pursue economic opportunities as they are available so our citizens can have a better quality of life.”