Government

County Maintains Highest Possible Credit Ratings

San Diego County has earned the highest possible rating from all three of the top credit agencies—Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. The trio reaffirmed the ratings earlier this month with stable outlooks. 

“Once again the County has received a strong vote of confidence from the three top ratings agencies,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors. “The ratings reflect our longstanding efforts to be fiscally responsible and our continued commitment to taxpayers.

The County is one of a handful of large counties in the nation and one of just two in California to have the “triple triple-A” rating.

S&P first assigned the County its AAA rating in 2008. Fitch recalibrated the County to AAA in 2010 and Moody’s upgraded the County to Aaa in 2014. The County has received the top ratings from all three ever since.

“The County’s high ratings for general creditworthiness allow us to save taxpayer dollars on future projects and reinvest the savings into the community,” said County Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer.

Standard & Poor’s affirmed its AAA issuer credit rating for the County on Feb. 2, quoting strong management and financial policies.

“The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor’s opinion of San Diego County’s deep and diverse economy, strong reserves, formal policies, manageable debt and conservative budgeting, where actual results typically exceed projections,” noted the report. “We do not expect to lower our rating within the outlook’s two-year horizon, based on our belief that management will likely maintain good finances and reserves.”

On the same day, Moody’s assigned the Aaa issuer rating to the County. Moody’s noted the County’s strong and consistent operating performance, deep and effective management team and moderate debt profile as credit strengths.

Then Fitch affirmed its AAA rating to the County on Feb. 3, citing key rating drivers including a large and diverse tax base, a healthy local economy, strong financial position and low debt.

“The county’s strong financial results are supported by forward-looking management policies and practices which include clear reserve targets, disciplined funding of capital needs and long-term obligations, and conservative budgeting,” Fitch reported. 

Michelle Mowad is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact