Good financial management and a great credit rating. That sums up Rancho Santa Margarita based on a memorandum from Standard & Poors in a recent financial report.
The city was assigned a AAA rating, the highest available. Citing Rancho Santa Margarita's strong income, wealth, maintenance of very strong available General Fund reserves, and good financial management policies and practices, Standard & Poor’s notified the City of its increased rating in late November.
“At a time when so many cities are drowning in debt and deficit, we are proud Rancho Santa Margarita is financially strong ," said Tony Beall, who recently began his third consecutive one-year term as mayor. "We have the highest possible credit rating, a balanced budget and finished last (fiscal) year with $1.2 million dollar surplus and $20 million in reserves.”
The AAA rating will enable to city to realize outstanding interest rates that will be applied to the recent refinancing of its Civic Center Bonds. By refinancing $11.2 million dollars of debt that was originally issued in 2003 to build City Hall and the Bell Tower Regional Community Center, the city will realize a cost savings of $2.1 million over the remaining 21-year term of the bonds.