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City of Carlsbad Receives AAA Credit Rating

Carlsbad CA— Standard & Poor’s Services has given the City of Carlsbad a AAA credit rating, the highest credit rating possible and the same rating earned by the city in 2009, the last time the agency evaluated the city’s finances.

“This is great validation of our City Council’s policies that stress fiscal discipline and a commitment to long term financial planning,” said City of Carlsbad Finance Director Kevin Branca. “We take our role as stewards of taxpayer money very seriously.”

Among the reasons for the high marks, Standard and Poor’s cited:

  • Strong management, with good financial policies and practices
  • Very strong budgetary performance, with operating surpluses
  • Very strong budgetary flexibility, with a high available fund balance, 199 percent of operating expenditures in Fiscal Year 2013-14
  • Very strong liquidity, with total government available cash of 4.5 times governmental fund expenditures and 558 times governmental debt service, as well as access to external liquidity S&P considers strong
  • Very strong debt and contingent liability position
  • Low level of funding interdependence with the federal government
  • Strong institutional framework
  • Very strong economy, with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area

A credit rating assesses an organization’s credit-worthiness and serves as an indicator to potential investors of debt securities, such as bonds. Organizations with higher credit ratings usually can borrow money at lower interest rates.

“The City of Carlsbad does not typically finance projects with borrowed money,” said Branca. “We set aside money for future projects and infrastructure maintenance every year, and we forecast revenues and expenses 10 years into the future, which is unusual for a government agency.”