11.12.2012 19:32

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Port of Skagit County Commission, WA -- Moody's assigns Aa3 rating to the Port of Skagit County, WA, Limited Tax G.O. Bonds


Approximately $9.3 million in debt affected

New York, December 11, 2012 -- Moody's Rating

Issue: Limited Tax General Obligation and Refunding Bonds, 2012A; Rating: Aa3; Sale Amount: $4,460,000; Expected Sale Date: 12-12-2012; Rating Description: General Obligation Limited Tax

Issue: Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds, 2012B (Taxable); Rating: Aa3; Sale Amount: $2,030,000; Expected Sale Date: 12-12-2012; Rating Description: General Obligation Limited Tax

Opinion

Moody's Investors Service has assigned an Aa3 rating to the Port of Skagit County (WA) Limited Tax General Obligation and Refunding Bonds, Series 2012 A, and Series 2012 B (Taxable), in the total amount of $6.5 million. The bonds are secured by the full faith and credit of the port within the constitutional and statutory limitations of non-voter approved debt. Proceeds of the bonds will be used to fund various capital projects and to refund all or a portion of the port's Series 2004 bonds.

SUMMARY RATINGS RATIONALE

The Aa3 rating reflects the port's stable local economy and moderately-sized tax base, below average socioeconomic indicators, sound financial operations and low debt burden.

STRENGTHS

-Stable local economy that has begun to diversify over the last five years

-Sound financial operations with sound fiscal reserve policies

CHALLENGES

-Four consecutive years of tax base declines; rural, protected area limits growth opportunities

-Recent draws on cash for capital projects resulting in declining net working capital

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO - UP

- Significant increase in assessed valuation and socioeconomic measures

- Trend of increased reserve levels and diversification of revenues

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO - DOWN

- Significant deterioration of financial position

- Protracted tax base declines

The principal methodology used in this rating were Moody's Rating Methodology for U.S. Ports published on February 2005 and 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

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain 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 certain 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 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 ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

Please see the credit ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

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

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com for information on (A) MCO's major shareholders (above 5%) and for (B) further information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities as well as (C) the names of entities that hold ratings from MIS that have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%. A member of the board of directors of this rated entity may also be a member of the board of directors of a shareholder of Moody's Corporation; however, Moody's has not independently verified this matter.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Rating Process page on www.moodys.com for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

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.

Andrea Unsworth Analyst Public Finance Group Moody'sInvestors Service, Inc.One Front Street Suite 1900 San Francisco, CA 94111 U.S.A. JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653William Oh 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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