Strong Fiscal Management


At the heart of the County's stability - even in times of uncertainty - is its fiscal discipline and systemic financial planning and monitoring. It is important for the County to have strong fiscal management to ensure the County can continue to provide core services and the mix of other services sought by members of the public. In part, strong fiscal management tracks a few key indicators the operating ratio and the debt ratio.

Operating Ratio

The operating ratio demonstrates the ability to generate revenues to fund current or desired service levels. A ratio of 1:1 or higher indicates budget solvency. The ratio is measured by comparing audited General Fund expenditures to audited General Fund revenues. The measure focuses on the General Fund as it is the County's chief operating fund.
Source: County of San Diego Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Source: County of San Diego Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Debt Ratio

The debt ratio shows the County's debt in relation to the revenues each year. This shows the burden of long-term debt on the County's budget. Generally, a smaller ratio means that less of the County's resources (revenues) will have to go towards paying debt - which means more resources for other needed programs that the County provides to the public.  This ratio is calculated by comparing annual principal and interest payments on long-term obligations of the General Fund to budgeted General Fund revenue. The limit, as set in the County's Administrative code, is set at 5%.
Sources: County of San Diego Operational Plan & Comprehensive Annual Financial Report