Moody's Investors Service dropped its rating on Greene County's debt four notches and warned of further negative action due to the county's lack of adequate financial reporting.
The rating agency lowered the county's issuer credit rating to A2 from Aa1. It also lowered Greene's appropriation-backed bonds four notches to A3 from Aa2 and downgraded its short-term rating to MIG-2 from MIG-1.
In addition, it placed the ratings on review for a downgrade "due to lack of current sufficient financial information, and a history of delayed financial reporting," Moody's said.
"If the information is not obtained within the next 60 days, we will take appropriate rating action, which could include the withdrawal or the lowering of the rating," the agency said.
The downgrade stems from the county's prolonged delay in completing audited financial statements along with limited revenue-raising flexibility, reliance on economically sensitive sales tax revenue, uncertain budget management, growing expenditures and a lack of developed financial plans.
Moody's reported that the county was delinquent on its Dec. 1 semiannual installment of debt service on its various 2010 and 2011 issues, though the payments were made in full on Dec. 2.
"The failure to make timely debt service was caused by operational deficiencies, not an indication of an impairment of the county's ability to pay," Moody's wrote.