San Mateo County is the only one of California's 58 counties to secure AAA ratings from both Standard & Poor's and Moody's rating services, which can be used to evaluate the county's fiscal health, according to county officials.
In a recent report, Standard & Poor's cited the "wealth and depth of the county's economic base" and "moderate to low debt levels, resulting in part from a history of pay-as-you-go capital spending" among other positive indicators.
"These reports affirm what our residents know: that San Mateo County provides excellent public services while constantly watching the bottom line," said Don Horsley, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
The strong ratings mean the county can borrow money at low interest rates to finance major capital projects such as a new fire station and replacement jail project, saving taxpayer dollars, according to county officials.
Standard & Poor's noted the county has eliminated 727 positions over the past four years while at the same time winning voter approval for a vehicle rental business license tax and a half-cent sales tax, which takes effect April 1.