FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
55 Water Street, 38th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10041
Reference No.: 1479497
NEW YORK – (April 25, 2017) - Standard & Poors has assigned its 'AA+' rating to Robbinsville Township's series 2017 general improvement bonds and series 2017 open space bonds.
For the third time since 2014, S&P reaffirmed its 'AA+' rating on the township's existing general obligation (GO) debt. The outlook is stable.
The township's full faith and credit pledge and its agreement to levy ad valorem (a tax whose amount is based on the value of a transaction or of property) property taxes without limitation as to rate or amount secure the 2017 bonds.
- Very strong economy, with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area (MSA);
- Adequate management, with "standard" financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment (FMA) methodology;
- Strong budgetary performance, with balanced operating results in the general fund and at the total governmental fund level in fiscal 2016;
- Very strong budgetary flexibility, with an available fund balance in fiscal 2016 of 20% of operating expenditures
- Very strong liquidity, with total government available cash at 33.5% of total governmental fund expenditures and 1.5x governmental debt service, and access to external liquidity we consider strong;
- Very weak debt and contingent liability position, with debt service carrying charges at 21.8% of expenditures and net direct debt that is 244.2% of total governmental fund revenue, as well as a large pension and other post employment benefit (OPEB) obligation;
- Strong institutional framework score.
Standard & Poors considers Robbinsville's economy very strong. The Township, with an estimated population of 14,293, is in Mercer County in the Trenton MSA, which we consider to be broad and diverse. It has a projected per capita effective buying income of 182% of the national level and per capita market value of $177,278. Overall, market value grew by 1.8% over the past year to $2.5 billion in 2016. The county unemployment rate was 4.2% in February, 2017.
The township is approximately one hour from both New York and Philadelphia, with major highways such as the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 195 crossing through. Its convenient location has made it attractive to many large companies to house warehouse operations. Robbinsville boasts approximately 12 million square feet in warehouse space, with a 98% occupancy rate. Corporate giant Amazon.com opened its mega-warehouse there in 2014 and other warehouse tenants include many big-name companies such as LongChamp USA, Mercedes Benz, Green Mountain Coffee and Global International.
In addition to the township's successful warehouse sector, Robbinsville is also experiencing new commercial and residential growth. Various new commercial and retail projects are under development or already under construction, including a YMCA and a new medical office. Officials also believe that the addition of new high-end homes - Robbinsville Estates and Raajipo - will continue to add to the township's growing tax base.