Rating Action: Moody's assigns Aa1 to Spokane County, WA's LTGO Bonds, Series 2022A&BGlobal Credit Research - 29 Aug 2022New York, August 29, 2022 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned Aa1 ratings to Spokane County, Washington's $13.4 million Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds, Series 2022A (Tax-Exempt) and $15.1 million Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds, Series 2022B (Taxable). Moody's maintains its Aa1 ratings on the county's approximately $178 million of outstanding limited tax general obligation bonds and a Aa1 rating on the county's issuer rating. The issuer rating is equivalent to the county's hypothetical general obligation unlimited tax (GOULT) rating; there is no debt associated with the GOULT security. The outlook is stable.RATINGS RATIONALEThe Aa1 issuer rating reflects the county's large and growing tax base that serves as a regional economic hub for Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. The county benefits from a considerable health care and higher education presence as well as a large and growing Air Force base. Reserves and liquidity levels are healthy following six years of annual operating surpluses. Debt and pension liabilities are modest as the county has limited additional debt plans and pension liabilities are declining.The Aa1 general obligation limited tax ratings reflect the general credit characteristics of the county, as well as the full faith and credit and all available revenue pledge in Washington, which Moody's generally rates at the same level as the issuer, or general obligation unlimited tax-equivalent ratings.RATING OUTLOOKThe stable outlook reflects the likelihood that the county's financial position will remain strong for the rating level, underpinned by a demonstrated history of sound operating performance.FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OF THE RATINGS- Material strengthening of the county's wealth and income measures- Continued, strong tax base expansionFACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO A DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS- Substantial decline in the county's tax base- Sharp deterioration of the county's financial position, driving lower reserve and liquidity levelsLEGAL SECURITYThe county's general obligation bonds are limited-tax general obligations, backed by the county's full faith, credit pledge of all legally available revenues to repay the bonds.The county also provides a credit enhancement to the Spokane Public Facilities District (PFD), WA's 2021A and 2021B bonds. The county pledges to replenish the debt service reserve fund supporting these bonds in the event that withdrawals are made from it. The county pledges its full faith and credit and all available resources to make this payment.USE OF PROCEEDSThe county will use the proceeds of the bonds, together with other available funds, to finance the construction of the Spokane Regional Indoor Small Arms Range, a joint project between the county and Fairchild Air Force Base.PROFILEThe county serves an estimated 2021 population of 542,100 residents across 1,758 square miles of eastern Washington (Aaa stable), including the City of Spokane (Aa2 stable). The county provides residents various services, including law enforcement, a sanitary sewage collection system, road maintenance, land use planning and zoning enforcement, municipal golf courses and park and recreation facilities.METHODOLOGYThe principal methodology used in these ratings was US Local Government General Obligation Debt published in January 2021 and available at https://ratings.moodys.com/api/rmc-documents/70015. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on https://ratings.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.REGULATORY DISCLOSURESFor further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found on https://ratings.moodys.com/rating-definitions.For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the issuer/deal page for the respective issuer on https://ratings.moodys.com.The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.These ratings are solicited. Please refer to Moody's Policy for Designating and Assigning Unsolicited Credit Ratings available on its website https://ratings.moodys.com.Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at https://ratings.moodys.com/documents/PBC_1288235.The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU and is endorsed by Moody's Deutschland GmbH, An der Welle 5, Frankfurt am Main 60322, Germany, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on https://ratings.moodys.com.The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the UK and is endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Limited, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5FA under the law applicable to credit rating agencies in the UK. Further information on the UK endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on https://ratings.moodys.com.Please see https://ratings.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.Please see the issuer/deal page on https://ratings.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating. 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