Standard & Poor’s said it raised its issuer credit rating  on Van, Tex., Independent School District’s general obligation debt one notch to A-minus from BBB-plus.

“The upgrade reflects the continued expansion of the local property tax base and the maintenance of good financial reserves,” Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Kate Choban said.

Standard & Poor’s said it also affirmed the AAA enhanced program rating, which reflects the guarantee provided by the Texas Permanent School Fund.

The rating reflects the district’s limited capital needs, moderately concentrated property tax base, and above-average debt levels. The bonds are secured by the Van ISD’s ad valorem tax pledge.

The local economy is heavily concentrated in farming, with agricultural land accounting for about 53% of total district assessed value. The city of Van was also an oil boomtown, and oil, gas, salt, and other mineral extraction remains a significant part of the local economy.

 

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