San Diego Region
The California State Auditor created the Local Government High-Risk Dashboard to report its ranking of 471 California cities from highest to lowest risk of fiscal distress based upon our analysis of certain financial data. We selected a set of 10 indicators that enabled us to assess each city’s ability to pay its bills in both the short and long term. Specifically, the indicators measure each city’s cash position or liquidity, debt burden, financial reserves, revenue trends, and ability to pay for employee retirement benefits. We calculated the financial indicators using data from cities’ audited and publicly available financial statements and from pension-related information obtained from the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Controller's Office.
We assigned points to cities based on the calculated result of each indicator and then ranked cities based on their accumulated scores. We weighted the results of the indicators by assigning varying numbers of points to each indicator based on our judgement of each indicator’s relative importance. Cities could score anywhere from zero points up to the maximum available points for each indicator. A perfect score across all 10 indicators would equal 100 points with lower scores representing higher degrees of fiscal risk. We also used this points-based system to categorize cities based on overall fiscal risk. Cities shaded in red have high overall fiscal risk, cities in yellow are at moderate risk, and cities in green are at lower risk. The map below shows the overall results for cities in the San Diego area.
Additional information about the overall risk indicator can be found here.