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U.S. Local Governments Credit Brief: New York State Counties And Municipalities Means And Medians


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U.S. Local Governments Credit Brief: New York State Counties And Municipalities Means And Medians


New York State counties and municipalities (local governments) have demonstrated stable credit quality recently, which we think continued economic expansion supports, demonstrated by continuous strong sales tax revenue. Sales tax revenue remained robust despite supply chain disruptions and a tight labor market that has greatly affected local government portfolios nationwide.

S&P Global Ratings expects credit quality for New York local governments to remain stable during the next few years despite the shallow recession predicted for the first half of 2023 due largely to positive operations, subsequent to the injection of federal stimulus during COVID-19 and various transformation economic developments statewide. However, concerns over inflationary pressure and a contracting housing market throughout the Mid-Atlantic, possibly affecting mortgage tax collections, remain for local governments.

S&P Global Ratings maintains ratings on roughly 258 local governments, 228 municipalities, and 31 counties. Overall, credit quality has remained stable since March 14, 2022. We raised the ratings on Erie, Nassau, and Suffolk counties within the past year. We also raised the ratings on seven municipalities, including Syracuse and Yonkers, and lowered the ratings on three. In addition, we withdrew eight ratings across New York local governments as debt matured or due to a lack of timely information: However, we withdrew the rating on South Nyack because it dissolved. At 95%, the majority of ratings have a stable outlook while 2% have positive outlooks, 1% have negative outlooks, and 2% are on CreditWatch for a lack of timely information.

What We Are Watching In 2023 And Beyond


In 2022, most local governments in New York experienced strong economic recoveries, indicated by growing sales tax receipts and property values, partially offset by rising costs due to inflationary pressure. Encouragingly, the state's growth in the semiconductor industry and offshore wind energy will help with economic stability and expansion, especially in central and western New York. With the restoration of AIM funding and the elimination of distressed-provider assistance, counties have additional sales tax flexibility.

Over the longer term, economic growth will likely depend on overcoming structural issues, such as past deindustrialization and population decreases. In addition, we will continue to monitor possible housing starts and sales contractions, which have an effect on mortgage tax revenue for local governments receiving this revenue stream. Based on S&P Global Market Intelligence forecasts for the state, real income growth should average 1.7% annually, lower than the national forecast.

Spotlight on Environment, Social, And Governance (ESG)


Acute physical risk is a moderately negative consideration in our credit-rating analysis for New York. The state has coastal exposure, particularly in New York City and Long Island, with about 40% of the state's population and a high concentration of the state's economic activity, roughly half the state's jobs. However, chronic risks, such as inland flooding, are also common, notably in the Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley, along flood plains. To address these issues, many localities are performing storm water-management upgrades, coupled with other infrastructure improvements. Furthermore, we see increases in the number of local governments participating and certifying in the state's climate-smart-communities program; this program supports local government efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change, among other reasons. In addition, the program provides funding to participating governments for grants and other initiatives.

We view governance factors as neutral for New York state local governments, primarily from positive governance structure aspects, offset by challenges for pension and OPEB liability risk management. We consider strong state oversight positive. All New York municipalities and school districts are subject to oversight through the state comptroller's fiscal-stress-monitoring system, an early warning system for communities and school districts with fiscal problems. In addition, several municipalities and counties are subject to financial oversight through financial-control boards, such as New York City Transitional Finance Authority, Nassau County Interim Finance Authority, or Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority. We view the state's creation of the Joint Security Operations Center--a cyber-command center, bringing together local, state, and federal agencies and providing a statewide view of cybersecurity risks--as a favorable credit attribute.

However, legal and practical impediments associated with pension and OPEB plan governance from an inability to prefund OPEB challenge New York local governments. Because state law does not permit local governments to create an OPEB trust, we posit unfunded liabilities, which frequently exceed budgets, will likely continue to grow unless major changes occur to OPEB or state statutes.

While we view social capital risk as neutral overall, some regions are experiencing demographic pressure while others have exposure to affordability concerns and an aging workforce, which could pressure operations and revenue-raising flexibility.

Table 1

New York Counties: Medians
Projected per capita effective buying income (%) 117.8 94.3 85.0 70.7
Market value per capita ($) 126,064 115,948 65,702 62,219
Available general fund (%) 27.8 29.8 26.8 24.2
General fund performance (%) 11.8 12.3 12.6 9.9
Cash and expenses (%) 23.8 33.3 35.3 30.7
Carrying charge (%) 5.3 5.9 2.8 2.5
Pension annual required contribution + other postemployment benefits as a % of expenses 6.2 5.6 6.0 7.5

Chart 1


Table 2

New York Counties: Financial Management Assessment
Score (%) AA+ AA AA- A+
Strong 0 11 0 0
Good 100 78 50 20
Standard 0 11 50 80

Table 3

New York Municipalities: Medians
AAA AA+ AA AA- A+ A A- BBB+ or lower
Projected per capita effective buying income (%) 180.3 143.8 125.6 91.2 80.9 72.4 61.7 69.2
Market value per capita ($) 353,514 188,376 131,264 74,300 63,224 42,003 35,129 35,255
Available general fund (%) 63.5 43.8 49.5 49.1 49.5 37.7 20.5 7.6
General fund performance (%) 7.9 5.0 8.5 8.6 6.1 4.9 4.8 2.4
Cash and expenses (%) 47.5 50.5 51.3 45.5 53.0 50.2 36.3 15.5
Carrying charge (%) 8.3 7.4 8.0 6.9 9.6 10.4 9.7 7.7
Pension annual required contribution + other postemployment benefits as a % of expenses 7.0 7.4 6.5 7.8 4.8 6.8 2.8 12.8

Chart 2


Table 4

New York Municipalities: Financial Management Assessment
Score (%) AAA AA+ AA AA- A+ A A- BBB+ or lower
Strong 21 3 2 0 0 0 0 0
Good 43 33 12 17 7 0 0 0
Standard 36 63 85 83 93 93 100 100
Vulnerable 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0

Table 5

County Rating List--General Obligation
Organization Rating Outlook
Albany Cnty AA Stable
Allegany Cnty A+ Stable
Broome Cnty A+ Stable
Chautauqua Cnty A+ Stable
Cortland Cnty A+ Stable
Dutchess Cnty AA+ Stable
Erie County AA Stable
Essex Cnty AA Stable
Franklin Cnty* A Stable
Genesee Cnty AA- Stable
Lewis Cnty A+ Stable
Madison Cnty AA- Stable
Monroe Cnty AA- Stable
Montgomery Cnty A+ Stable
Nassau Cnty AA- Stable
Oneida Cnty AA- Stable
Onondaga Cnty AA Stable
Rensselaer Cnty AA Stable
Rockland Cnty AA Stable
Saratoga Cnty AA+ Stable
Schoharie Cnty AA- Stable
Schuyler Cnty A+ Stable
Seneca Cnty AA- Stable
St Lawrence Cnty A+ Stable
Suffolk Cnty A+ Stable
Sullivan Cnty AA Stable
Ulster Cnty AA Stable
Warren Cnty AA Stable
Wayne Cnty AA- Stable
Westchester Cnty AA+ Stable
*Reflects the rating for Franklin County Solid Waste Management Authority--an appropriation rating for the county.

Table 6

Municipality Rating List--General Obligation
Organization Rating Outlook
Adams Twn A+ Stable
Airmont Vill AA Stable
Albany A+ Stable
Albion Twn A- Stable
Alexander Twn A Stable
Altamont Vill AA- Stable
Amityville Vill AA Stable
Amsterdam Twn A+ Stable
Arcade Vill A Stable
Arcadia Town A+ Stable
Atlantic Beach Vill AA Stable
Avon Vill AA- Negative
Babylon Twn AA+ Stable
Babylon Vill AA Negative
Bath Vill A+ Stable
Bedford Twn AAA Stable
Beekmantown A+ Stable
Bellmont Town A+ Stable
Bellport Vill AA+ Stable
Benton Twn A+ Stable
Bergen Twn A+ Stable
Bethlehem Twn AA+ Stable
Bloomfield Village A+ Stable
Boonville Village A Stable
Brewster Vill BBB Positive
Briarcliff Manor Vill AA+ Stable
Brightwaters Village AA+ Stable
Brockport Vill A Stable
Brookhaven Twn AAA Stable
Brunswick AA Stable
Buchanan Village AA- Stable
Buffalo A+ Stable
Canandaigua AA- Stable
Castleton on Hudson Vill A+ CreditWatch Negative
Cattaraugus Village A Stable
Chenango Twn AA- Stable
Churchville Vill AA- Stable
Cicero Twn AA Stable
Clarendon A Stable
Clarkstown Twn AA Stable
Clinton Twn AA+ Stable
Clinton Village A+ Stable
Cohoes AA- Stable
Collins Twn AA- Stable
Colonie Town AA- Stable
Concord A+ Stable
Corinth Vill A+ Stable
Corning Twn A+ Stable
Cornwall AA Stable
Cortland A+ Stable
Coxsackie A+ Stable
Depew Vill AA- Stable
Dewitt Twn AA Stable
Dunkirk A- Negative
East Aurora Vill AA+ Stable
East Bloomfield Town A+ Stable
East Rochester Vill AA- Stable
East Rockaway Vill AA Stable
East Syracuse Vill A+ Stable
East Williston Vill AA+ Stable
Ellicott Twn A Stable
Elmira BBB+ Positive
Endicott Vill A Stable
Enfield Twn A Stable
Esopus AA- Stable
Evans A+ Stable
Fairport Vill AA Stable
Farmingdale vill AA Stable
Fayetteville Vill A+ Stable
Fleming AA- Stable
Frankfort Twn A Stable
Frankfort Vill A Stable
Fulton BBB+ Positive
Geneseo Vill A+ Stable
Geneva AA- Stable
Glens Falls A+ Stable
Goshen Twn AA+ Stable
Goshen Vill AA- Stable
Gouverneur Vill A Stable
Great Neck Vill AAA CreditWatch Negative
Greece Twn AA Stable
Greenburgh Twn AAA Stable
Greene Vill A+ Stable
Greenport Twn AA- Stable
Guilford Twn A+ Stable
Halfmoon AA Stable
Hamlin Twn A+ Stable
Hannibal Town A- Stable
Harriman Vill AA Stable
Hastings Twn A+ Stable
Hempstead Twn AA Stable
Hempstead Vill AA- Stable
Herkimer Vill A CreditWatch Negative
Highland Falls Vill AA- Stable
Hudson A+ Stable
Huntington Twn AAA Stable
Islip AA+ Stable
Jamestown A- Stable
Jerusalem (Twn of) AA- Stable
Kendall A+ Stable
Kingston AA- Stable
Kirkwood Town A+ Stable
Kiryas Joel Vill A- Stable
Lafayette Town AA- Stable
Lake George Vill AA Stable
Lancaster Vill AA- Stable
LeRay Twn A Stable
Leroy Vill A+ Stable
Lewisboro Twn AA Stable
Lima Vill A+ Stable
Lindenhurst Vill AA Stable
Lynbrook Vill AA+ Stable
Lyndonville Vill A Stable
Lysander Twn AA Stable
Malverne Vill AA+ Stable
Mamaroneck Vill AA+ Stable
Manorhaven Vill AA+ Stable
Marcellus Twn AA- Stable
Marcellus Vill A+ Stable
Marcy Twn AA- Stable
Marilla Twn AA- Stable
Massena Twn A+ Stable
Medina Village A+ Stable
Mendon Twn AA+ Stable
Monroe AA Stable
New Hartford Twn AA- Stable
New Hartford Vill A+ Stable
New Hyde Pk Vill AA+ Stable
New York City AA Stable
Newark Vill A+ Stable
Niagara Falls BBB Stable
Niskayuna AA+ Stable
North Elba Twn AA Stable
North Greenbush Twn AA Stable
North Salem Twn AA+ Stable
Nunda Twn A+ Stable
Nyack Village AA- Stable
Oakfield Town A- Stable
Ocean Beach Vill AAA Stable
Old Brookville Vill AAA Stable
Oneida AA- Stable
Oneonta AA- Stable
Oneonta Twn AA- Stable
Orchard Park Vill AA Stable
Oswego A Stable
Owasco Twn A+ Stable
Owego Twn AA- Stable
Oyster Bay Twn A+ Positive
Palmyra Twn A+ Stable
Patchogue Vill AA Stable
Patterson Twn AA Stable
Pavilion Twn AA- Stable
Pelham Vill AA+ Stable
Penn Yan Vill A+ Stable
Perinton Twn AA+ Stable
Perry Village A+ Stable
Peru Twn A+ Stable
Piermont AA+ Stable
Plandome Vill AAA Stable
Potsdam Vill A Stable
Princetown AA- Stable
Ramapo Town A+ Stable
Red Hook Twn AA Stable
Ridgeway Town A- Stable
Rochester AA- Stable
Rockville Centre AAA Stable
Rome A+ Stable
Sackets Harbor Vill A+ Stable
Salamanca City A Stable
Saltaire Vill AAA Stable
Santa Clara AA+ Stable
Saratoga Springs AA+ Stable
Saratoga Twn AA+ Stable
Saugerties Twn AA- Stable
Schenectady A Positive
Schodack Twn AA Stable
Scottsville Vill A+ Stable
Sea Cliff Vill AA+ Stable
Seneca Falls Twn A+ Stable
Shawangunk Twn AA- Stable
Shoreham Village AA Stable
Silver Springs Village A Stable
Skaneateles Vill AA Stable
South Blooming Grove Vill AA- Stable
South Bristol Twn AA Stable
Springville Vill A+ Stable
Sweden Twn AA Stable
Syracuse A+ Stable
Tonawanda AA- Stable
Town of LeRoy A+ Stable
Town of Lenox A+ Stable
Town of Marion A+ Stable
Town of Phelps A Stable
Town of Riga AA Stable
Town of Southampton AAA Stable
Town of Wappinger AA+ Stable
Town of York A+ Stable
Troy A Positive
Tuckahoe Vill AA Stable
Tupper Lake Vill A Stable
Tuxedo Pk Vill AA Stable
Ulster Twn AA- Stable
Upper Brookville AAA Stable
Upper Nyack Vill AA+ Stable
Utica A- Stable
Van Buren Twn AA- Stable
Vestal AA- Stable
Village of Adams A Stable
Village of Laurel Hollow AAA Stable
Village of Southampton AAA Stable
Volney A+ CreditWatch Negative
Voorheesville Vill AA Stable
Wallkill Twn AA CreditWatch Negative
Walton Vill A Stable
Waterford Vill A Stable
Watervliet A+ Stable
Watkins Glen Vill A+ Stable
Waverly Vill A Stable
Webb Twn AA CreditWatch Negative
Wellsville Vill A+ Stable
Westbury Vill AA+ Stable
Whitehall Village A Stable
Woodbury Twn AA+ Stable
Woodbury Village AA+ Stable
Woodstock Twn AA Stable
Yates (Twn of) (Orleans Cnty) A- Stable
Yonkers A+ Stable

This report does not constitute a rating action.

Primary Credit Analyst:Lauren Freire, New York + 1 (212) 438 7854;
Secondary Contacts:Krystal Tena, New York + 1 (212) 438-1628;
Charlene P Butterfield, New York + 1 (212) 438 2741;

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