In response to the county’s strengthened financial position, Moody’s Corporation upgraded the County of Riverside’s credit ratings last week.
The county’s issuer credit rating was boosted to an even more favorable position of Aa2 (up from Aa3). In addition, Moody’s increased the county’s rating on outstanding lease-backed debt to Aa3 (up from A1) and the county’s rating on outstanding pension obligation bonds to A1 (up from A2).
The upgrades come after significant strategic investments to improve the county’s financial situation over the last several years. These efforts included refinancing debt with lower interest rates to reduce expenses of nearly $300 million over the remaining life of outstanding bonds. Additional efforts involved aligning expenditures with revenue, and developing a sound financial plan consistent with the reserve policy.
“The vision and collective leadership of the board of supervisors, along with the hard work of the county team, are being recognized and rewarded in the credit market,” said County Executive Officer Jeff Van Wagenen. “This is a good reminder that sound policy decisions, and staff efforts to implement those decisions, can – and do – result in positive change.”
Moody’s noted that the county’s outlook is stable with manageable debt and pension burdens. For example, the pension funded status noted in the 2022 PARC Report is projected at nearly 80% next year.
The improved credit ratings will demonstrate to investors, stakeholders, and residents, that the county is in a stable and positive financial position. Expected outcomes from the credit rating upgrades may result in lower interest rates in the future, and savings for the county overall.
Please click here to see all of the county’s credit ratings.