Arlington County’s top Aaa credit rating has been reaffirmed by Moody’s Investor Service, but with a “negative outlook” assigned.

The rating agency had threatened to downgrade Arlington during the U.S. debt crisis, due to its indirect ties to the federal government. With the debt crisis resolved and with the federal government’s Aaa rating reaffirmed, Moody’s reaffirmed the ratings of more than 300 public finance issuers, including Arlington.

In a statement, Moody’s said that Arlington and other debt issuers would, like the federal government, be assigned a “negative outlook.” The agency said that the outlooks “will be reviewed on a case by case basis in the coming weeks,” in order to determine whether individual outlooks should be set back at “stable.”

“In order to have a stable outlook, an issuer will need to have credit quality that could be expected to remain higher than that of the U.S. government in the event that the sovereign were downgraded from Aaa,” Moody’s said.

The county’s debt rating affects the interest rate at which it is able to borrow money through bond issues.


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