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San Diego County Awarded AAA Investment Rating

Capital Public Radio / File

Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister announced Wednesday that Fitch Ratings gave the county of San Diego's investment pool a AAA rating — its highest mark — for the 17th straight year.

More than 200 public agencies in the San Diego region invest in the pool, including all 42 public school districts, five community college districts, the San Diego Regional Airport Authority, San Diego Association of Governments, Metropolitan Transit System and other public agencies such as cities, fire and water districts.

"We have a talented investment team that works hard to make sure taxpayer money is managed to the highest standards," McAllister said. "They are committed to making sure public money is available when it is needed by local agencies."

Fitch Ratings noted that the $8.8 billion is mainly invested in safe areas like government securities, direct agencies, corporate certificates of deposit and commercial paper. That provides a low vulnerability to default and very low sensitivity to market risk, according to the agency.

McAllister said the pool's balance has risen from $3.3 billion in 2001 to $10.1 billion in April of last year.

The pool is overseen by an 11-member committee comprised of county, school, and public agency officials. Five public members review the county's investment policy statement annually, McAllister said.

Separately, Fitch Ratings upgraded five city of San Diego lease revenue bonds and convention center expansion bonds, from A+ to AA-, citing strong revenue potential and satisfactory reserves.