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County Credit Ratings Remain Strong

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As independent validation of its fiscal stability, the County of San Diego has received strong ratings on its planned issuance of taxable Pension Obligation Bonds, Series 2008A (POBs) from the three municipal credit rating agencies.

Those agencies -- Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch -- also affirmed the County’s outstanding overall ratings and assigned it a stable outlook.

“As the County faces increasing uncertainty from the effects of the State budget deficit and the nation’s economic slowdown, these ratings are a major accomplishment in responsible management of public dollars,” said County Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard.

“The County remains committed to keeping our financial house in order thanks to ongoing fiscal discipline and strong leadership from the Board of Supervisors,” Ekard said.

The Series 2008A POBs are being used to refund a portion of the County’s 2002 POB debt originally issued as Auction Rate Securities. This refunding will result in an estimated $200 million in interest rate savings for taxpayers over the life of the debt.

Last week’s announcement by Standard & Poor’s followed both Moody’s and Fitch in assigning the County credit ratings that rank among the highest in California. These outstanding ratings allow the County to achieve a low cost of borrowing for taxpayers.

Following is a summary of the County’s current ratings:

Credit Rating AgencyCounty Underlying RatingTaxable Pension Obligation Bonds, Series 2008A
FitchAA+AA
Moody'sAa2Aa3
Standard & Poor'sAA+AA

 





In issuing its rating, Moody’s noted that “the coming year is likely to be difficult, but both the rating and the stable outlook recognize management’s proven ability to implement its fiscal policies.”