PHOENIX - Standard & Poor's upgraded Eureka Redevelopment Agency, Calif. to BBB-plus from BBB, citing improved cash management.

The upgrade affects $15 million of tax increment bonds issued in 2003, and S&P also affirmed a BBB-plus rating for the Eureka Public Finance Authority's debt issued for the city.

The redevelopment agency in the located in the "Redwood Empire" of Northern California dissolved in 2012 following the adoption of 2011 legislation requiring each California redevelopment agency to suspend nearly all activities except to implement existing contracts, meet already-incurred obligations, preserve its assets, prepare for the impending dissolution of the agency, and transfer all of its assets to a successor agency that is governed by an oversight board representing the various taxing jurisdictions in the community.

"The raised rating reflects our view of the agency's stable tax base, improved cash management post-dissolution, and resolution of outstanding litigation," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Cody Nelson.

The bonds are secured by a first lien on tax increment revenues, net of low- and moderate-income housing funds and pass-through payments, from three merged sub-project areas.

The merged project areas cover 1,260 acres of the central city, including port areas and waterfront, with about 48.1% of the merged project area assessed value classified as secured commercial property, 22.2% residential, and 8.1% industrial.

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