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Rating Update:

MOODY'S DOWNGRADES THE VILLAGE OF HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON'S (NY) G.O. RATING TO Aa3 FROM Aa2

10 Dec 2010

Aa3 RATING AFFECTS $12 MILLION OF RATED DEBT OUTSTANDING

Municipality
NY

Opinion

NEW YORK, Dec 10, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the Village of Hastings-On-Hudson's (NY) unlimited general obligation rating to Aa3 from Aa2 affecting $12 million in outstanding debt. The downgrade reflects the deterioration of the village's financial position after a multi-year trend of operating deficits between fiscal year 2007 to fiscal year 2009. The Aa3 rating additionally incorporates that the village's moderately-sized $1.5 billion tax base may experience further moderate depreciation in the near future after a 2.7% decline in 2010. The village is located within the Town of Greensburgh (GO rated Aaa/no outlook) in Westchester County (GO rated Aaa/stable outlook), and its residents benefit from easy access to employment centers in the New York, City metropolitan area. The rating also factors in the village's manageable debt burden of 0.8% of full value, which is expected to decline given the absence of future debt plans, and an average amortization of principle (60.2% within 10 years). All of the village's debt is fixed rate, and the village is not party to any derivative agreements.

The village's financial position has narrowed significantly during the three year period ending fiscal year 2009. During this time, the village's General Fund balance declined by $594,000 to end at $348,000, or a narrow 2.9% of operating revenues. The deficits were primarily due to shortfalls in sales and mortgage tax revenues, as well as a decline in interest earnings. According to unaudited fiscal 2010 financial statements, the village is expected to end the year with a slight $40,000 surplus due to more conservative budgeting to end with a total General Fund balance of $388,000, or a still narrow 3.1% of operating revenues. The current reserve level is below the village's targeted 7% to 10%, and is well-below the reserve level of other similarly-rated entities. Continued budgetary pressures will hamper the village's ability to achieve this target in the foreseeable future. Limiting the village's revenue-raising capabilities is a village board imposed 4.5% cap on property tax rate increases. The village has taken some cost-cutting measures in budgeting for fiscal 2011, primarily in the form of staffing reductions due to attrition. However, the village continues to face financial pressures in the form of state-aid reductions, as well as increasing pension and employee healthcare benefits costs, and has budgeted for a balanced operations in fiscal 2011.

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO UP (REMOVAL OF NEGATIVE OUTLOOK)

* Demonstrated progress towards restoring a satisfactory financial position

* Stabilization of property values

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO DOWN

* Further deterioration of the village's reserves

* Significant declines in the village's tax base

KEY STATISTICS:

2000 Population: 7,919

2010 Full Valuation: $1.5 billion

2010 Full Value Per Capita: $190,643

1999 Per Capita Income (as % of NY and US): $48,914 (209.1% and 226.6%)

1999 Median Family Income (as % of NY and US): $111,227 (215.2% and 222.2%)

Direct Debt Burden: 0.8%

Payout of Principal (10 years): 60.2%

2009 General Fund Balance: $348,000 (2.9% of General Fund revenue)

Total long-term Debt Outstanding: $12 million

The principal methodology used in this rating was General Obligation Bonds Issued by U.S. Local Governments published in October 2009.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

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

Moody's Investors Service considers the quality of information available on the credit satisfactory for the purposes of assigning a credit rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit 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 ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history.

The date on which some Credit Ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's Investors Service's Credit Ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's Investors Service 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 the Credit Policy page on Moodys.com for the methodologies used in determining ratings, further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Analysts

Dennis Lam
Analyst
Public Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service

Robert Weber
Backup Analyst
Public Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service

Julie Beglin
Senior Credit Officer
Public Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service

Contacts

Journalists: (212) 553-0376
Research Clients: (212) 553-1653


Moody's Investors Service
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
USA

MOODY'S DOWNGRADES THE VILLAGE OF HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON'S (NY) G.O. RATING TO Aa3 FROM Aa2
No Related Data.
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