This building in Benicia, Calif. was California’s capitol between 1853 and 1854.

PHOENIX - Standard & Poor's upgraded Benicia, Calif's issuer credit rating to AA from AA-minus, and raised the underlying rating on the California Public Property Financing Corp.'s series 2011 certificates of participation issued on behalf of the city to AA-minus from A-plus.

The rating agency announced the upgrades of the COPs, $13.2 million of which were issued in 2011, last week on the strength of projected new tax revenues for the San Francisco Bay Area city of just under 30,000.

"The rating actions are due to our view of the city's recent passage of a sales tax measure that we project will help the city to maintain balanced operations and very strong reserves in line with its fund balance policy," said S&P analyst Jen Hansen.

The series 2011 COPs represent an interest in lease payments made by the city to the California Public Property Financing Corp. for the use and possession of the leased assets, the Benicia city hall and the Clocktower Fortress, a historic military bastion that functions as a community center, S&P said.

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