VENTURA, Calif. – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the County of Ventura to an Aaa Issuer Rating, the highest rating possible. The upgrade is due in large part to its exceptionally stable financial profile and the County’s conservative budgeting and expenditure policies. The Issuer Rating is a long-term rating which reflects the County’s overall financial capacity or credit worthiness.
“This kind of rating isn’t achieved easily,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers. “It requires strong budgeting, management and fiscal practices by our Board of Supervisors, managers and our entire workforce. It also requires a dedicated financial team, which is led by Chief Financial Officer, Catherine Rodriguez, and the County’s Auditor-Controller, Jeff Burgh.”
The upgraded credit rating is a tremendous benefit to the County. The higher credit rating results in lower interest rates when borrowing or issuing debt. The upgraded Moody’s rating complements the AAA rating the County had previously received from Standard & Poor’s and, as a result, the County expects to save more than $1 million per year in interest payments from the refinancing of debt primarily related to the Ventura County Medical Center Academic Family Center Clinic.
“The rating reflects the financial guidance of our Board of Supervisors and our adherence to a comprehensive long-term fiscal plan,” said Rodriguez. “By consistently applying those budget principles we have been able to not only maintain the County’s strong financial position, but to expand our services as well.”
Moody’s report says the upgrade reflects the County’s continued operating surpluses for the last six fiscal years, during one of the worst economic recessions in recent history, resulting in exceptionally stable reserves and liquidity levels. It also highlighted the County’s efforts to reduce its unfunded pension liability and noted that the County’s debt levels are low and manageable.
In their report, Moody’s said, “The County has a strong management team, which will ensure stable operating performance in even the most difficult of economic and financial circumstances.”
To read the entire report, click on: Moody’s County of Ventura Credit Opinion