|County gets good news from top rating service
Healthy reserves key to evaluation
Sonoma County received good news from Fitch Rating service.
The financial rating firm has affirmed the county’s general obligation bonds at AA+; the Measure F sales tax revenue bonds for the Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District at AA+; and the county’s pension obligations bonds at AA.
The ratings, some of the best available for local government, are an indication of the county’s strong financial stewardship and fiscal discipline.
Among the reasons behind the rating, cited by Fitch, are the county's strong financial profile, characterized by healthy general fund reserves, conservative budgeting, and strong financial management policies; a diverse local economy benefiting from wine production and tourism; manageable long term obligations with overlapping debt levels being moderate; and carrying costs for debt and retiree benefits that are affordable.
“The county and the Board of Supervisors have focused on fiscal discipline and putting the organization on a solid sustainable path,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman David Rabbitt. “These ratings validate that work and the contributions made by employees at all levels of our organization.
Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector David Sundstrom added, “I am gratified by Fitch’s assessment of our financial position. These ratings have many positive impacts, from cost savings for any future borrowing to signaling to businesses that Sonoma County is a good place for investment.”
Fitch is a global leader in financial information services. More information can be found at www.fitchratings.com.