Standard and Poor recently improved Yuba County’s credit rating to a level labeled “very strong,” citing strong financial management and budget performance as key factors.

The county’s rating was improved from “A+” to “AA-” by S&P, the country’s largest credit rating agency. The agency said the upgrade was based on an examination of Yuba County’s economy within the broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area. They noted strong management with good financial policies and practices; strong budgetary performance and flexibility; a strong debt and contingent liability profile; and strong institutional framework score.

“A stronger credit rating for the county is much like a person’s individual credit score — the better your score, the lower the interest rates assigned to county debts,” said Assistant County Administrator Sean Powers. “This helps save money on large-scale and expensive projects for the public’s benefit.”

In addition to its improved credit rating, the county saw an increase on its underlying rating on joint financing projects with entities like the Yuba Water Agency, which improved from “A” to “A+.” S&P also assigned an “A+” long-term rating to the $6 million sheriff’s facility refinancing projects.

Other takeaways from the recent S&P rating included:

– Yuba County’s property tax base has demonstrated continuous growth following the recession.

– Assessed value has grown by an average of 6.3 percent.

– Property tax revenues increased by 11.9 percent in Fiscal Year 2020, which may reflect increased housing construction and a subsequent rise in property values.

– The county has seen an improved economy with an unemployment rate that has fallen below the 10 percent threshold.

Credit ratings from S&P are typically issued each quarter.

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