15.08.2012 19:46
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James City (County of) VA -- Moody's assigns Aa2 rating to the Economic Development Authority of James City County's (VA) $26.3 million Lease Revenue Bonds, Series 2012; City's outlook revised to...

Affirms Aa1 rating on approximately $59.2 million of GO Debt

New York, August 15, 2012 --

Moody's Rating

Issue: Lease Revenue Bonds (County of James City, Virginia Capital Projects), Series 2012; Rating: Aa2; Sale Amount: $26,285,000; Expected Sale Date: 8/24/12; Rating Description: Lease Rental: Appropriation

Opinion

Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Aa2 rating and positive outlook to the Economic Development Authority of James City County's (VA) $26.3 million Lease Revenue Bonds, Series 2012. The bonds are secured by a commitment from James City County to make lease payments, which are subject to annual appropriation, to support debt service. Concurrently, Moody's has affirmed the Aa1 rating on $59.2 million in previously issued general obligation debt. At the same time, Moody's affirms the Aa2 rating on $80.2 million in previously issued essential purpose lease revenue bonds, including the Series 2006 and Series 2009 bonds, as well as the Aa3 rating on $17.6 million in previously issued non-essential lease revenue debt related to the Series 2005 bonds. The county's outlook for each of these debt issuances has been revised to positive.

SUMMARY RATINGS RATIONALE

The Aa2 rating reflects the commitment of James City County to make annual lease payments, which are subject to appropriation, in order to support debt service on the bonds, the essential nature of the assets financed, satisfactory legal provisions, and the county's strong underlying credit characteristics. The county's Aa1 General Obligation rating incorporates the county's stable economic base characterized by above-average wealth levels and sizable tourism sector, strong financial position, and above-average, but manageable debt burden. The Aa3 rating on the Series 2005 bonds reflects the commitment of James City County to making annual lease payments, which are subject to appropriation, in order to support debt service on the bonds, the non-essential nature of the assets financed, satisfactory legal provisions, and the county's strong underlying credit characteristic.

The revision of the outlook to positive reflects the county's continued improvement in reserve levels that provide added financial flexibility. In addition, the county's tax base has continued to expand despite challenges presented by the current national economic environment.

A majority of the proceeds from the current bond issue will be used to fund school construction and renovation, as well as the construction of a new fire station. The remainder of the proceeds will be used to refund the Series 2003 Lease Revenue Bonds for an estimated net present value savings of $614,000, or 7.65% of refunded principal, with no extension of maturity.

STRENGTHS:

- Stable tax base with above-average wealth levels

- Strong reserve position CHALLENGES: - Above-average debt burden - Ability to achieve and maintain debt service expenditures within established policy targets

Outlook

The positive outlook reflects the continued improvement in the county's reserve levels despite the current economic environment. These increased reserve levels provide the county with additional financial flexibility going forward. The positive outlook also reflects the continued growth and diversification of the county's tax base. While the county is expecting a slight decline assessed valuation during fiscal 2013, Moody's believes the county will be able to offset any losses by continuing a strong financial management strategy. Moody's will continue to monitor the county's ability to increase reserves, and if reserves begin to fall below historical levels, negative credit pressure is possible.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING GO UP:

- Continued increase in reserve levels

- Growth in tax base and wealth levels

- Decreased debt burden

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING GO DOWN (Removal of positive outlook):

- Decreased reserve levels

- Reduction in tax base and wealth levels

- Increased debt burden

- Inability to meet debt service target

The principal methodology used in this rating was General Obligation Bonds Issued by U.S. Local Governments published in October 2009. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

The Global Scale Credit Ratings on this press release that are issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU are endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Ltd., One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E 14 5FA, UK, 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 has issued a particular Credit Rating is available on www.moodys.com.

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt 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 relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides relevant 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 ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

Information sources used to prepare the rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings and public information.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the rated entity, obligation or credit satisfactory for the purposes of issuing a rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a rating is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com for general disclosure on potential conflicts of interests.

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Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history.

The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Jennifer Diercksen Associate Analyst Public Finance Group Moody'sInvestors Service, Inc.250 Greenwich StreetNew York, NY 10007 U.S.A. JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653Julie Beglin Vice President - Senior Analyst Public Finance Group JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653 Releasing Office: Moody's Investors Service, Inc.250 Greenwich StreetNew York, NY 10007 U.S.A. JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653(C) 2012 Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and/or its licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

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