Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirms PCC’s ‘AA’ rating | News
Pima Community College has retained its ‘AA’ credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, with a stable outlook.
The AA rating is the third highest rating awarded by the bond agency, with only 11 percent of U.S. municipalities earning a higher rating of AA+ or AAA.
Standard & Poor’s backed the rating, citing the College’s “strong historical and projected financial operations” and “low debt levels.” It noted that PCC has a “large and diverse tax base” and “financial operations remain strong in Standard & Poor’s view.” Read Standard & Poor’s report on PCC.
“The Standard & Poor’s rating report is clear confirmation that PCC has been and will continue to be a prudent steward of public funds,” said Executive Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Dr. David Bea, in a recent news release.
Standard & Poor’s is just one of three major bond rating firms, which issues reports on the creditworthiness of governmental and commercial entities.
Standard & Poor’s stated “the district's management practices are considered ‘good’ under Standard & Poor’s financial management assessment (FMA) methodology, which evaluates established and ongoing management practices and policies in the seven areas most likely to affect credit quality. These areas are: revenue and expenditure assumptions, budget amendments and updates, long-term financial planning, long-term capital planning, investment management policies, debt management policies, reserve and liquidity policies.
In addition, they wrote “we consider the district’s overall net debt burden to be very low on a per capita basis.”
“We have worked hard during the financial crisis over the past number of years to decrease our debt and create sustainable budgets while weathering large reductions in state appropriations and decreasing property tax valuations,” Dr. Bea said. “Standard & Poor’s AA designation is one result of our efforts. Another is something that impacts each of our students – our success in making sure that Pima’s tuition remains as low as possible.”