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  • County maintains high credit ratings

    May 17, 2016 | Read More News
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    Pima County’s conservative approach to debt management and aggressive debt retirement has again been rewarded by two of the nation’s leading credit rating agencies with some of the highest ratings achievable by local governments. 

    Fitch and Standard & Poor’s have again awarded the county AA and AA- for its bond-related debt: 1997, 2004, 2006 and 2014 General Obligation bonds; 1997 Highway Revenue Bonds and 1997 and 2004 Sewer Revenue bonds. The various bonded debt either maintained their ratings from last year or were upgraded. The county has not had a credit rating for its General Obligation and Highway Revenue bonds below AA- for more than 10 years. 

    “The investment market has known for years that Pima County is a strong and safe investment. Our rapid repayment of debt incurred by public investment in our community, along with these very high credit ratings assures us low interest rates and faster pay down of principal, saving taxpayers millions of dollars a year,” County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said. 

    Fitch’s and S&P’s high AA ratings mean the county is highly likely to meet its financial obligations. Only the U.S. government and a few enormous international corporations have higher, AAA ratings. 
    The ratings agencies spoke highly of the county’s fiscal management, and described the county’s financial outlook as “positive” and “stable.” 

    Among the comments about the county by the agencies:
    • “We view the county’s management as strong…” (S&P, GO Bonds)
    • “Pima County’s budgetary performance is strong.” (S&P, GO Bonds)
    • “Extremely strong liquidity position…” (S&P, Sewer revenue bonds)
    • “Pima County’s long-term liability burden is low…” (Fitch, GO bonds)
    The county’s willingness to maintain an adequate financial reserve also aided the high ratings, the agencies said. Read the ratings reports. 

    The county’s 2016 ratings by agency are:

    Credit Ratings

       Standard and Poor's  Fitch
      Rating  Date Rating Date
     GO Bonds  AA- May 2016  AA May 2016
     HURF Rev Bonds  AA May 2016  AA May 2016
     Sewer Rev Bonds  AA May 2016  AA May 2016
     Sewer Rev Obligations  AA May 2016  AA- May 2016
     Certificates of Participations   A+ Feb. 2016  AA- Feb. 2016


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