San Diego County now has the highest rating on its debt from all three of the top national credit agencies, officials reported.
The agencies said the ratings reflect the county’s sound financial management, healthy cash and reserve levels, and diverse and strong economy. The high ratings translate into lower borrowing costs.
“Securing the highest rating is not only great news for our county government, but for taxpayers who expect public agencies to keep their fiscal house in order,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “It gives us even more flexibility to fund future projects and reinvest in the county.
“The upgrade also underscores what outside experts have said before: The county’s finances are rock solid and much of the credit goes to its history of sound fiscal management.”
The county is one of only three in California to have Moody’s Aaa rating. The agency forecasts a stable outlook.
“Despite a multi-year recession that significantly impacted general economic activity and state funding support, the county has generated stable and consistent operations resulting in a very strong financial profile. We anticipate the county’s conservative budgeting practices and improving economy will produce ongoing fiscal stability and well above average cash and fund balances,” Moody’s reported.
“The county’s general fund remains stable, with healthy fund balances. Recurring positive operating results are supported by strong institutionalized management policies and practices, including disciplined pension funding and effective actions to limit retiree pension and healthcare costs,” Fitch reported.
The trifecta of top ratings builds on a track record going back to 2008, when S&P first issued the County its AAA rating. Fitch recalibrated the County to AAA in 2010, and the county has received the top ratings from both ever since.
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