SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Village Trustee Karen Hartshorn Hilton, who is also chairperson of the South Orange Village Finance Committee, announced July 2 that Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings has revised its outlook for South Orange from stable to positive.
“This is great news for our taxpayers, as this improved credit rating puts us in a strong position for funding our capital projects,” Hartshorn Hilton said.
According to S&P, “the positive outlook reflects that we believe there is at least a one-in-three chance we could further raise the rating during the next two years if South Orange continues to produce positive results, leading to growth in available reserves.” S&P further applauded “the village’s strong operating performance in 2020 despite the pressure imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic” and noted that “South Orange anticipates meeting its fund balance target for the first time since its introduction.”
The report went on to cite that, “management’s emphasis on building reserves through conservative budgeting increased its flexibility to withstand potential adverse operating conditions. Through the cuts and changes in its 2020 budget, South Orange maintains strong performance. Furthermore, moving forward, we anticipate additional tax base growth as several residential projects are ongoing, which should provide additional tax base growth over the outlook period.”
Village President Sheena Collum said, “It’s incredibly encouraging that our financial management improvements are being recognized for their significant progress and that industry experts are confirming our overall financial strategy is on the right track.”
S&P is a leading provider of transparent and independent credit ratings worldwide. The S&P report created for the South Orange Village is available online at S&P Rating Report 2021.