The underlying rating on sales tax bonds issued by the Lafayette Parish School Board has been raised to AA from AA-minus by Standard & Poor’s.

The improved rating and stable outlook covers the district’s $14.7 million of outstanding debt and its upcoming sale of $50.7 million of refunding bonds.

Analyst Jim Tchous said the new rating is based on the district’s diverse tax base, the parish’s position as a regional retail, trade, and service center, and strong growth in sales tax revenues.

Sales tax revenue growth has gone up 224% over the past 20 years, averaging 5.5% annually over the past 10 years. Sales tax collections in fiscal 2007 totaled $50.9 million.

The district’s credit is rated A2 by Moody’s Investors Service.

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