Moody’s: Medicaid bill “has negative credit implications for Florida counties”

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A bill signed by Gov. Rick Scott last month “has negative credit implications for Florida counties,” according to a report issued by Moody’s Investor Service. The brief report focuses on a measure (HB 5301) that will allow the state to withhold some tax revenues from counties as part of a Medicaid billing dispute. “The lost revenues add another financial strain on counties already challenged by waning property tax and other operating revenues,” analyst John Incorvaia wrote. The bill is designed to make sure counties still have enough money to pay off debt, according to the report. “Although these protections should ensure that the bonds will maintain at least sum-sufficient coverage, the increased withholdings of counties’ sales tax revenues will invariably reduce debt service coverage and bonding capacity,” Incorvaia wrote.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.