Moody’s Investors Service last week downgraded the Piatt County Building Commission’s lease revenue rating one level to Aa3 due to its high reliance on corporate-replacement tax revenue, which declined by 30% between fiscal 2008 and 2010.

The downgrade affects $5.8 million of debt. Moody’s also removed the rating from its watch list. It had placed the credit on watch due to a lack of sufficient current financial and operating information. The downgrade followed Moody’s review of the county’s new fiscal information.

Analysts said the credit also faces pressures from other revenue streams, including intergovernmental revenue from Illinois.

Despite its revenue pressures, Piatt County had a general fund balance of $2.4 million in 2009, which represents 56.2% of general fund revenue.

The rating also reflects analysts’ expectation that the rural county’s modestly sized $1.1 billion tax base in central Illinois will continue to experience relatively limited growth.

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