San Mateo County was given the "A+" of credit ratings this past week from Standards & Poor's.
Furthermore, San Mateo County is the only one out of California’s 58 counties to secure AAA ratings from both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s rating services, which County officials said last week is "evidence of the County’s sound fiscal health."
In a recent report, Standard and Poor’s cited the "wealth and depth of the county’s economic base" and "moderate to low debt levels, resulting in part from a history of pay-as-you-go capital spending," among other positive indicators, when evaluating the County's status.
"These reports affirm what our residents know: that San Mateo County provides excellent public services while constantly watching the bottom line," said Don Horsley, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
So, what does this mean? The strong ratings mean the County can borrow money at low interest rates to finance major capital projects, saving taxpayer dollars.
In a statement announcing the positive credit rating, County officials suggested "a new fire station and the replacement jail project" as two of the "major capital projects" this new credit rating could help the County borrow funds for.
Standard and Poor’s also noted the County has eliminated 727 positions over the past four years, while at the same time winning voter approval for a vehicle rental business license tax and a half-cent sales tax, which takes effect April 1, as further evidence of sound financial decisions that help the County's rating.
The report stated, "In our view, the county’s finances have been consistently very strong," and noted the "county’s excellent financial performance … as well as a favorable position regarding long-term pension and retiree health care liabilities."
Read the full report here.
PATCH WANTS TO KNOW - What do you think of this report? Do you agree with Standards & Poor's statements about the County's financial status and recent financial decisions? Do you think the County should borrow money to fund big projects such as the new jail and a new firehouse?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
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