CONTACT: Eric Young, SFCTA; 415-522-4816 office, firstname.lastname@example.org
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority has maintained the highest possible rating of AAA by Fitch Ratings for $208.3 million in senior sales tax revenue bonds. This is the second consecutive year Fitch affirmed a AAA rating on the agency’s debt, placing the Transportation Authority among the highest rated organizations in California.
The Transportation Authority repays the bonds using revenues from San Francisco’s half-cent sales tax, which is estimated to be $101.7 million in the agency's recently adopted budget for the fiscal year beginning July 2022. The bond’s rating reflects the half-cent sales tax’s “very strong resilience despite the sharp drop in sales taxes due to the pandemic,” Fitch said.
“The Transportation Authority’s continued high credit rating is good news for San Franciscans,” said District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who serves as Chair of the Transportation Authority Board. “It is indicative of the strength of our transportation sales tax program, which is a critical funding source for needed capital improvements all across the city. It also underscores the Transportation Authority's sound stewardship of the tax revenue the voters entrust to us.”
Fitch said its rating was based on a number of key drivers, including:
- An expectation that the half-cent sales tax revenue will “recover to its historical trend of growth” despite a downturn during the pandemic;
- The Transportation Authority’s high financial coverages and capacity to make regular bond repayments; and
- Half-cent sales taxes cannot be used for purposes other than financing transportation improvements and repaying bond debt.
The bonds are part of the agency’s overall financial strategy to advance half-cent sales tax project delivery and allow benefits to the public to be realized sooner than would otherwise be possible. The Transportation Authority has overseen the use of bond proceeds, plus interest earned, to support the delivery of key projects such as:
- Muni bus, trolley, and light rail vehicle purchases
- Muni Central Control and communications systems
- New and upgraded traffic signals
- Geary Bus Rapid Transit
- Salesforce Transit Center
Last year, the Transportation Authority earned a Certificate of Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association, the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. This was the fourth consecutive year the agency earned the certificate, underscoring the Transportation Authority’s commitment to outstanding stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
The Transportation Authority has managed San Francisco’s transportation sales tax since 1990, helping to deliver generations of major capital projects, as well as neighborhood-level improvements such as crosswalks, traffic calming, new and upgraded traffic signals, bicycle lanes and street repaving citywide.
About the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (sfcta.org)
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority’s mission is to make travel safer, healthier, and easier for all. We plan, fund, and deliver local and regional projects to improve travel choices for residents, commuters, and visitors throughout the city. The Transportation Authority Board consists of the 11 members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who act as Transportation Authority Board Members. Board Member Rafael Mandelman is Chair of the Board. Tilly Chang is the Transportation Authority’s Executive Director.