CCTA is passionate about strategic management of our financial operations and maximizing the return Contra Costa residents receive for their transportation investment. We're committed to ensuring administrative costs are capped at only 1% and celebrate the fact that for every sales tax dollar CCTA spends, we’re able to nearly double our investment by leveraging funds from other sources to complete major transportation projects. In addition, smart steps like proactively funding our entire pension liability will keep CCTA fiscally sound for years to come.
We believe CCTA's many successes - such as Highway 4 and the Caldecott Fourth Bore projects - are grounded in our effective stewardship of public funds.
Contra Costa taxpayers trust us to manage and invest taxpayer funds wisely. One way CCTA finances the costs of transportation projects is by issuing bonds repaid from future sales tax revenues. The benefit of using bond financing is our ability to fund large construction contracts in the early years of the 25-year Measure J program, when income from sales tax revenue is limited. Although bonds are a form of interest-bearing debt, Contra Costa residents benefit by funding projects in today's dollars rather than future dollars, which will be worth less due to inflation.
CCTA's debt policy establishes a limit and controls for the amount of bond debt to not exceed 40% of all future sales tax revenues. As of June 30, 2015, CCTA has $397.4million of bonded indebtedness. Thanks to CCTA's strong fiscal management and conservative debt policies, we received a "AAA" credit rating from Fitch Bond Ratings and a "AA+" was assigned by Standard & Poor's on our planned issuance of sales tax revenue bonds in October of 2015.
CCTA sales tax revenues are derived from a half-cent sales or use tax on retail receipts collected in Contra Costa County. At the end of Fiscal Year 2015 (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015), sales tax revenues of $79.455million were received, an increase of $3.6million or 4.7% over the prior year. Sales tax revenues in Contra Costa show continued growth in new auto sales, retail, construction and heavy equipment.
One of CCTA's most essential functions is serving as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars. As the agency tasked with managing the delivery of transportation programs and projects, CCTA is required to maintain a high level of accountability to the voters. Accordingly, CCTA prepares public financial statements and submits them for an independent audit annually.
CCTA also directs compliance audits of other public agencies to ensure that Measure J funds are being properly used for eligible transportation purposes only. In addition, CCTA continues to commit itself to efficiency and financial stewardship by capping administrative expenses at 1% of all sales tax revenues.
CCTA's longstanding, prudent management of Contra Costa's transportation sales tax dollars was celebrated with the coveted Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. As CCTA's third Certificate of Excellence award in three years, we are honored to be recognized for our commitment to financial transparency and preparing audited financial statements in conformity with the highest standards set for public agency accounting.