Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

San Diego’s S&P Credit Rating Improves To A+

Ratings for San Diego's long-term bond issues were raised today from A- to A+ by the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's, which cited improved forecasting practices and budget adjustments.

Ratings for San Diego's long-term bond issues were raised today from A- to A+ by the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's, which cited improved forecasting practices and budget adjustments.

The credit rating agency also boosted the city's main rating two notches, from A to AA-.

The upgrade "reflects our view of improvements the city has made on its internal controls and processes, disclosure practices and financial systems over the previous few years that officials believe should contribute to the future continued transparency, timeliness and accuracy of its financial statements,'' S&P's report states.

The city of San Diego was knocked out of the bond market for several years in the last decade when questionable disclosure practices were investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. When the city was able to issue bonds again, its ratings were soured by the impact of the recession and structural budget deficit.

S&P, which gave a "stable'' outlook for the bonds, noted that the city's revenues are increasing and that it will have solid budget reserves into the future and has strong financial management practices.

"This is just another positive sign from Wall Street regarding our efforts to strengthen San Diego's financial fitness,'' said Mayor Jerry Sanders. "Because of the work of so many people -- from the city's management team to the city council -- the city is in much better shape today than it has been in years.''

The agency said the city's financial strengths are tempered by its pension liability and limited flexibility to raise revenues.

Even if the city went to the bond market for all its upcoming capital projects, like expanding the Convention Center, clearing its $800 million backlog of street and public facility repairs and building a parking garage in Balboa Park, the city's debt burden would only be moderate, according to the agency.

S&P wrote that it was unlikely to consider raising the rating again for about two years, but could lower it if the city failed to maintain its high level of reserves.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.