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Monroe Co. credit rating downgraded

Rochester, N.Y. - Its a step backward for Monroe County's financial future.

Moody's Investor Service has downgraded Monroe County's credit rating and lowered its outlook from "Stable to "Negative."

The downgrade could affect interest rates on more than $450 million in long-term debt and future borrowing.

The report listed weak nursing home operations, poor financial reserves and over-dependence on one-time revenue as reasons for the downgrade.

The report did note the county's stable tax base, low unemployment rates and reasonably low pension costs among its strengths.

But Moody's said the rating could be downgraded again in the next two years if the county continues in the same pattern.

Monroe County's Chief financial Officer Robert Franklin responded Wednesday when he said in a statement, "We're disappointed in Moody's decision because they want Monroe County to raise property taxes to achieve a larger fund balance. The County Executive remains committed to balancing our budget without raising property taxes because protecting the interests of local taxpayers is more than important the interests of Wall Street."

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Washington Times