Arlington County could be one of the Northern Virginia localities to lose its Aaa credit rating if lawmakers on Capitol Hill don’t resolve their stalemate over raising the debt ceiling.
The announcement focuses on reviewing 177 top rated municipalities across the country, including all of Northern Virginia. Earlier this month, Moody’s placed five Aaa rated states, including Virginia, on its Creditwatch list. At blame is the above average level of reliance on federal employment and spending in our area.
Arlington responded to the announcement by saying the county’s economy remains strong. County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said, “Nothing has changed in terms of the County’s financial and debt management practices and fundamentals of our economic base.”
Zimmerman added that the decision by Moody’s shows how lawmakers’ inability to agree on a debt limit deal is affecting real people and endangering economic recovery.
If Arlington does get downgraded, it could be more expensive for the county to borrow money for schools, roads and other projects. But Zimmerman pointed out that Arlington’s financial reserves and additional resources would provide flexibility to respond to potential declines in revenue.