Baltimore County has been added to a watch list by Moody's, one of three major bond rating agencies in the country.
The county touted the retention of its triple-A rating—the so-called "triple triple"— from the three major agencies in a July 29 news release.
But Moody's on Friday announced that the county along with more than 300 other state and local government entities around the country would continue to be monitored—a sign that the debt ceiling debate and deal at the federal level continues to trickle down from Washington.
The current bond rating assigned to the county remains unchanged, according to the statement from Moody's.
"With the raising of the federal debt ceiling, the risk of a U.S. default is removed, and the (triple-A) ratings assigned to the U.S. government, and directly and indirectly linked U.S. public finance ratings have been confirmed," the statement reads. "While these indirectly linked issuers' outlooks were moved to negative as a group based on the identification of certain shared characteristics, their outlooks will be reviewed on a case by case basis in the coming weeks. In order to have a stable outlook, an issuer will need to have credit quality that could be expected to remain higher than that of the U.S. government in the event that the sovereign were downgraded from Aaa."
Appearing on that list with Baltimore County are: the state of Maryland; Harford, Howard and Montgomery and Prince George's Counties; the cities of Bowie and Rockville; and the Washington Suburban Sanitary District.
Bond ratings are meant to reflect the stability of the investment with a triple-a rating being the most secure.
Lower ratings cause governments to pay higher rates of interest to investors making the money borrowed for roads and buildings more costly to taxpayers.
County officials said they were not concerned about the Moody's announcement.
"We are very confident that our history of responsible fiscal management and the changes that we've made to employee benefits will lead Moody's to leave Baltimore County unchanged," Don Mohler, a county spokesman, wrote in an email response. "We believe we are the most fiscally well managed and sound County in the nation."