The City of Santa Clarita was recently notified that its credit rating was upgraded to AAA, the highest rating a municipality can receive. Standard and Poors defines the AAA rating as: “Extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments; the highest rating.” The upgrade is Santa Clarita’s third in five years.
“We set a conservative fiscal plan 25 years ago when the City was established. This is the result of 25 years of continuity in that approach to budgeting and financial management,” explains Ken Pulskamp, City Manager.
“One factor the ratings analysts consider is the strength of the local economy. Our focus on being business friendly and attracting high-quality businesses was key to becoming an AAA city,” stated Mayor Frank Ferry.
When deciding upgrades, Standard and Poors looks at continuity of management of a city, strong availability of general fund reserves, a stable economic base, long-term fiscal performance, a balanced budget, sound fiscal practices, and fully funded future obligations such as Santa Clarita’s 100% funded retiree health care program
Matt Fabian, a nationally-recognized municipal credit expert who is Managing Director of Municipal Market Advisors in Westport Connecticut: “Coming at a time when local governments–particularly those in California–are facing immense short, and long-term challenges and increasing scrutiny from credit analysts, Santa Clarita’s new AAA rating is an exceptionally strong testimonial to the city’s economic resilience and management sophistication,” he said.