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ORLANDO-With commercial real estate deals being struck almost on a weekly basis in Central Florida, Orange County has received still more encouraging news from New York-based Standard & Poor’s Corp. S&P is upgrading the county’s outstanding sales tax revenue bonds to a ranking of double-A minus from single-A plus.

“That could bolster the investment sales side of real estate as investors continue to look hard at metro Orlando for deals in all categories,” Dean Fritchen, senior associate, Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services Co., Winter Park, FL, tells GlobeSt.com.

S&P’s new ranking comes as the bond-rating agency notes strong debt service coverage by the county even with an economic slowdown and a decline in sales tax receipts following 9-11.

“Despite the somewhat heavy tourism reliance, which could be vulnerable to economic downturns, sales tax revenues in Orange County have shown good growth during past recessionary periods,” S&P credit analyst Eden Perry says in a prepared statement.

Eden says sales tax receipts are “only down by 5.3% from budgeted expectations and down 4.2% from the same period in 2001.” The analyst says per capital retail sales are “well above the national average.”

Eleven municipalities and the country share in the total countywide sales tax collections, estimated at over $142 million for 2001.

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