Even if there were some worries that maybe San Francisco’s bond ratings might be drastically downgraded; city leaders can rest assured. Mayor Gavin Newsom on Monday got the good news that bond ratings for The City and county of San Francisco by Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings are still the highest in the state. The bond rating affirmations were released by the agencies in part because of The City’s upcoming sale of approximately $135 million certificates of participation (COP) to refund four COP transactions for debt service savings.
Moody’s, S&P and Fitch each recently affirmed The City’s Aa1, AA, and AA credit rating, respectively, on The City’s general obligation bonds and rated Aa2, AA-, and AA-, respectively, on The City’s upcoming refunding COP transaction. The ratings reflect the one-notch distinction between general obligation bonds and general fund-secured lease obligations.
“At a time when many cities and counties across California and the U.S. have seen their credit ratings suffer amidst a lingering recession and state and federal financial uncertainty, I’m proud the major bond rating agencies have all affirmed San Francisco’s strong credit rating,” said Newsom. “Maintaining the strongest rating of any California county requires our continued and steadfast commitment to tough financial management, sound budgeting and fiscal prudence.”
The agencies also said that The City’s implementation of mid-year expenditure adjustments to offset any weakness in revenue growth, proactive budget forecasting and monitoring and adoption of a general reserve policy helped.