S&P raises city’s credit rating

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city-council-moneySAN DIEGO — Standard & Poor’s Friday raised the city of San Diego’s credit ratings, an action that could smooth the way for a major upcoming bond issue.

The city’s issuer credit rating was boosted from AA- to AA. The agency raised the city’s lease-revenue-bonds rating to AA- from A+ and also confirmed its outlook of “stable” for San Diego’s finances, according to Interim Mayor Todd Gloria.

“We have a strong financial management team in place, the local economy is improving and we have a healthy general fund reserve,” Gloria said. “Our city has come a long way.”

The city was mired in debt in the middle of the last decade and was dubbed “Enron by the Sea” at the time for failing to accurately report its perilous financial condition to prospective bond investors.

S&P suspended the city’s credit rating in 2004 and didn’t restore it until 2008.

Gloria called the credit rating hikes as “tremendous news.”

“I want to thank the City Council for its fiscal discipline, all the employee groups who helped the city with its financial reforms, and the countless city staffers whose efforts in this area have been tireless,” Gloria said.

The immediate impact could be lower interest rates when the city goes to the bond market early next year for $120 million in infrastructure projects.