Standard & Poor's has expressed confidence in Pima Community College’s creditworthiness by affirming the College’s AA designation with the outlook being stable. The AA rating is the third-highest rating awarded by the bond agency; only 11 percent of U.S. municipalities have earned the higher ratings of AA+ or AAA.
In affirming the rating, Standard & Poor’s cited the College’s “strong historical and projected financial operations” and “low debt levels.” It noted that the College has a “large and diverse tax base” and “financial operations remain strong in Standard & Poor’s view.”
“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.
Standard & Poor’s is one of three major bond rating firms that issue 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.”