Lee County’s fiscal management earns strong marks
Lee County recently has received high marks for sound fiscal management from two separate sources, including an AA credit rating from Fitch Ratings and solid grades on the newly issued report card from the Florida House of Representatives.
The Florida House’s Local Government Report Card, part of the Taxpayer Accountability & Transparency Project, grades counties in a number of areas.
Lee County received an “A” grade for government size, ranking sixth out of 32 large counties. The category takes into consideration:
– Salaries and benefits as a percentage of overall spending
– Number of employees per 100,000 residents
– Average employee salary
The Florida House also ranked Lee County a “B” for government spending and debt.
For a full comparison of the report card, visit https://floridataxpayers.com.
The AA rating from Fitch — which denotes “very high credit quality” — recognized that Lee County:
– Possesses superior control of expenses and a low long-term liability burden
– Has solid post-pandemic growth prospects for revenues
– Maintains strong reserve funds and a 20 percent minimum reserve policy
– Rebuilt a strong financial cushion in the recent expansion, positioning it well for the current downturn
“Management has used surplus revenues associated with tax base growth to help support capital and maintenance needs and expects to continue this practice while maintaining reserves at or above 20 percent levels,” Fitch said in its report. “Inherent budget flexibility is superior, reflecting ample control over revenues and solid expenditure flexibility.”