MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township is bucking the downward trend when it comes to retaining an excellent credit rating.

Moody’s Investor Service has affirmed Middletown Township’s excellent bond rating of Aa2.

The good news comes at a time when other towns and cities across New Jersey are leading the nation in bond-rating downgrades.

“Moody’s affirmation of our excellent bond rating confirms that Middletown is making the right decisions in these challenging economic times,” said Mayor Anthony Fiore. “However, we know the job is far from done. We will continue to seek ways to mitigate the unprecedented fiscal challenges that Middletown and every municipality are facing.”

Affirmation of the Middletown’s excellent rating is credited to new management approaches and numerous financial improvements including reassessment of assessed valuation, budget reductions, staff reductions, and increased surplus.  Additional strengths that factor into the rating include a low debt burden with rapid amortization, sufficient liquidity and reserve levels, and a sizable tax base, said Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante.

Recent economic challenges that continue to be successfully mitigated through the township’s prudent management practices include adherence to the governor’s tax cap, decreased state aid, an influx of negative tax appeals judgments following the 2009 revaluation, increased health care costs, and emergency expenditures related to the 2010 Blizzard and Hurricane Irene, said Mercantante.

Moody's Investors Service is a leading provider of credit ratings, research, and risk analysis. Organizations with Aa2 Ratings are considered to be of high quality and very low credit risk. In investment, a bond credit rating assesses the credit worthiness of a corporation's or government debt issues. It is analogous to credit ratings for individuals.