SMCCCD LogoThe San Mateo County Community College District received the highest ratings possible from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Rating Services—AAA and Aaa—and is the only public higher education institution in the State (UC, CSU and community colleges) to be assigned these ratings.

The College District, which operates Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College, is planning to refund approximately $120 million in general obligation bonds over the next several weeks. Based upon current rates, which could change before the refinancing, taxpayers would save approximately $17.4 million due to lower interest rates. High ratings help assure that the College District has lower overall interest cost for the refinancing, resulting in larger savings for taxpayers.

The Moody’s report cited the District’s sound financial operations, low debt burdens, healthy reserves and large and stable property tax base in their ratings analysis. Standard and Poor’s cited similar parameters in their review and added that the District’s general fund balances and new reserve policy are “very strong.”

Both agencies assigned a “stable outlook”—the most favorable possible—for the District which Moody’s attributed to its expectation that “the district will continue to maintain a strong overall credit profile reflected in a healthy financial position, above average socioeconomic indicators, large, growing tax base, and manageable debt levels.”

Article by Barbara Christensen