Murrieta S & P ratings boost reflects a healthy local government, strong community

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MURRIETA – Strong management, solid budgetary performance and weak debt are a few of the factors behind the Murrieta’s recent Standard & Poors ratings boost. S & P is an international firm that analyzes creditworthiness of businesses and public entities in 128 countries and sets benchmarks for financial well-being.

“We earned a double A rating on both rating scales,” Stacey Stevenson, director of administrative services for Murrieta, said. “This is a truly important recognition in the finance world, as it identifies us as a solid, stable and financially secure city. But the resulting benefits go well beyond City Hall and impact our entire community.”

Some of those plusses include lower interest rates on loans, a greater ability to attract and retain businesses and the potential of higher business and residential property values – all reflective of a fiscally sound city and community.

It was a combination of prudent fiscal practices and forward thinking that earned Murrieta its solid ratings. It was the local one-cent sales tax, Measure T, that anchored that status.

“When voters passed Measure T, they enabled the city to address key areas like deferred maintenance and staffing gaps,” City Manager Kim Summers said. “We have built-out our reserves so we’re prepared for economic shifts, and we have been able to do this without sacrifice to city programs or services.”

The city’s issue credit rating increased from AA- to AA, and the lease revenue bond rating increased from A+ to AA-.

Residents can see firsthand how Murrieta budgets and spends, by visiting the city’s Open Data Portal at www.MurrietaCA.gov/transparency. Updated quarterly, the site looks back two years and projects two years ahead, covering a five-year budget span.

Submitted by city of Murrieta.