Despite credit rating hit, Fulton gets record-low interest rate

A recent credit rating downgrade didn’t hamper Fulton County in obtaining a bridge loan Wednesday. The county got another record-low net interest rate, 0.15 percent, through Wells Fargo Bank in issuing $200 million in tax anticipation notes — a routine, short-term loan to tide the county over until property tax bills come due this fall.

Fitch Ratings gave Fulton its top credit rating for the bridge loan, though it downgraded ratings for several existing long-term debts, citing financial instabilities and GOP state legislation aimed at the county. This year’s loan will have taxpayers paying $187,000 in interest costs, which is $86,000 more than last year because the county got a larger loan. Finance Director Patrick O’Connor cited diminishing reserves and said he wanted a larger cushion in case tax bills go out late.