“I am at my core a fiscal conservative and believe that being trusted with, and the expenditure of taxpayer funds is among the highest responsibilities a public servant has.”
Budget Responsibility and Strategic Savings
In the four years prior to Johnny Cribb taking office as County Supervisor, the county contributed a total of $1,708,845 to its strategic fund balance that totaled $16,990,647. Surprisingly with all the growth and investments the county was experiencing, in fiscal year ’17 and ’18 the county lost $2,725,428.
In Johnny’s first year as Supervisor revenue over expenditures totaled $6,477,614 representing an $8,756,528 turn around from the $2,278,914 loss in FY ’18. In Johnny’s second year in office revenue over expenditures totaled $11,648,020 and third year totaled $12,029,726. This represented an increase in the county’s strategic fund balance savings of $30,155,360 in three years. This was accomplished without a tax increase and has been the result of an all-in effort by county council and staff in regards to how we allocate, safeguard, and spend taxpayer funds.
Note: The term “fund balance” is defined by accounting as the total assets minus the liabilities of a particular fund in an organization. It indicates how much money would be left over if all debts were paid off.
Berkeley County is one of forty-six counties in the State of South Carolina and boasts the lowest county millage rate of any county in the state. Upon taking office in January, 2019, the county’s mileage rate was 45 mils. Supervisor Cribb and county council at reassessment in 2019 reduced the county millage rate to 43 mils protecting existing property owners from a tax increase from reassessment and further solidified Berkeley County as having the lowest county government taxes in SC.
Supervisor Cribb worked with county council to retire a Bond debt in 2022 incurred by the county in 2012. County council utilized $5.885M from our fund balance to retire that debt four years early saving the county $616,550 in interest. Similarly, county council has budgeted $2.118M in fund balance reserves and will retire a 2013 Bond debt this fiscal year four years early resulting in a savings of $214,360. In total, this is a savings to the taxpayer of $830,910.
Berkeley County Receives Bond Rating Increase from Top Credit-Rating Agencies
Showcases County’s Financial Success, Strong Economic Growth
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Tuesday, June 7, 2022) – Two top credit-rating agencies—Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings—have raised the bond ratings for Berkeley County Government. County CFO Allen Milburn presented the information to County Council at its meeting on April 25. Watch the full Council video HERE.
Moody’s upgraded the County’s General Obligation rating one notch from “Aa2” to “Aa1,” moving the County’s credit rating from the 3rd highest rating to the 2nd highest rating, just below “Aaa.” Moody’s noted that the upgrade reflects “the County’s strong economic growth supported by a sizable, diverse tax base and an improved financial position that is expected to remain solid.” They also noted as well as a “manageable debt and pension burden.”
Additionally, Standard & Poor’s affirmed the County’s General Obligation rating of “AA+,” also the 2nd highest rating, after upgrading the County to that level in September 2021. In support of its rating affirmation, Standard & Poor’s noted the County’s “strong economic indicators,” “good financial policies and practices,” “strong fund balances,” and “manageable debt” as the County’s positive attributes.
“The bond rating is a strong indicator of our phenomenal economic growth and financial stability coupled with strong fiscal accountability to the taxpayers as demonstrated by our fund balance. I commend Supervisor Cribb’s leadership in stewarding these fiscal successes.” - Councilman Josh Whitley, Finance Committee Chairman
“Berkeley County is proud to receive these strong ratings from both Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings. Thanks to our hardworking Finance Department and strong support from our County Council, we are proving our conservative and responsible financial approach is bringing economic success to the County. This administration looks forward to using this rating as a competitive advantage to help us continue improving quality of life services for all citizens.” - Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb