Fitch Ratings cited a number of positive drivers that led to the AA rating, which denotes a very high credit quality with expectations that there is strong capacity to fund financial commitments. It allows the County to pay a lower interest rate on its voter-approved bond projects.
The report indicates Pima County “maintains a sound financial profile with healthy operating revenues.”
Among the findings:
- County management has responded aggressively to the economic downturn and accompanying revenue declines over the recent past, making necessary spending adjustments to maintain fiscal balance and a satisfactory financial cushion.
- The County’s debt burden is manageable and debt repayment is rapid.
- Conservative fiscal management has supported historically strong financial performance, with ongoing spending reductions to absorb revenue declines, while avoiding large-scale layoffs, furloughs, pay reductions and service cutbacks.
- Although secondary assessed valuation has declined roughly 18 percent since the market downturn, the County’s expectation of two additional years of decline appears reasonable. Meanwhile, the County’s unemployment rate is improved from the prior year, with the most recent rate comparing favorably with the state and U.S. averages.
“We are pleased that Fitch has affirmed the County’s continued stability and future outlook,” said Chief Deputy County Administrator Martin Willett. “We take our responsibility to taxpayers seriously and are gratified that the ratings show Pima County continues to demonstrate strong fiscal stewardship.”
For more information, please visit www.fitchratings.com