Pima County Receives Strong Credit Ratings

Two rating agencies gave top credit rating reviews to Pima County for its strong fiscal management.

Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s both awarded AA+ credit ratings to the county for its pledged revenue obligations, which were approved by the Pima County Board of Supervisors in February to address the unfunded liability in the public safety personnel and corrections officer retirement plans.

These obligations are secured by the county’s state-shared sales taxes, state vehicle license taxes, county excise tax revenues and Payments in Lieu of Property Taxes, or PILT. Therefore, the issuance of these obligations will not impact the county’s current debt service secondary tax rate.

Fitch praised the county for its “solid revenue growth prospects, strong expenditure controls, a low long-term debt liability burden and superior operating performance.”

S&P noted the county’s “large and diverse economy, in addition to good incomes and an employment base made up of government, defense, tourism, higher education and services.”

These strong credit ratings demonstrate the rating agencies continued approval of the county’s financial management policies and practices, conservative approach to debt management and aggressive debt retirement. These ratings will also allow the county to borrow at lower interest rates in its upcoming sale in April.

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