Charleston County has maintained its triple-A ratings from Moody's and Standard & Poor's, and its taxpayers could save $4 million or more as a result.
"During these hard economic times, the citizens of Charleston County should be proud," County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor said of the news.
The agencies looked at the county's economic climate, its budget and financial reserves and the experience of those who keep the county's books. Their review came as the county plans to issue about $200 million in bonds next week.
Assistant Administrator for Finance Keith Bustraan said the county plans to borrow $197 million, including $167 million for road and greenbelt projects that will be paid off by the half-cent sales tax.
The borrowing also will include $12 million for a new law enforcement center and $18 million for Trident Technical College's nursing building. The Trident Tech borrowing will result in a small property tax increase of about $4 more on a $200,000 home.
Bustraan said keeping the top ratings could save the county $4 million or possibly more in interest payments.
He said the agencies considered the State Infrastructure Bank's move to find the county in default because of its decision not to build Interstate 526 -- a decision County Council later reversed -- as well as the National Labor Relation Board's legal dispute with Boeing over its decision to build a plant in North Charleston. In the end, neither were deemed to pose a significant risk.