COURT HOUSE - There has been so much uncertainty in 2020 due to the coronavirus. One unforeseen effect is it has created a tangible increase in property demand, in Cape May County.
According to a release, Moody's Investors Service has maintained the county's Aa1 rating on the county and specifically mentioned the spike in demand for shore property as a long-term positive. This is one of the reasons Moody’s maintained the county’s positive bond rating.
This is extremely important news to the county because it allows the government to borrow money at extremely low rates, while also making the county’s debt attractive to investors, which allows the freeholder board to implement its capital plan. The capital plan includes the important road and bridge infrastructure projects, the reimagining at County Commons, and on-going projects at the Cape May Airport.
“Maintaining a strong rating is so important for Cape May County as we continue to tackle key projects,” stated Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton, liaison to Finance and Purchasing. “We worked extremely hard to keep the county in a strong financial position before COVID. We are pleased to see the combination of the hard work and continued interest in real estate in Cape May County has kept us in better position.”
The county had made significant steps to provide itself strong financial footing over recent years. The surplus reached $24 million in this year’s budget, which is the highest it has been in several years. The surplus was increased, while the tax rate remained flat, to provide a rainy-day fund but not at the expense of taxpayers.
“In the face of the pandemic we took swift action including halting non-essential hiring and having departments cut 10% from their budgets,” said Thornton. “There were so many unknowns when COVID broke out and we continue to be cautious. We are pleased that the hard decisions that were made have paid off so far.