The National Association of Counties (NACo) last week submitted comments on the US Department of the Treasury’s Interim Final Rule (IFR) for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund established under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Since the enactment of the ARPA, counties have been working hard to develop implementation plans that will help spur an equitable economic recovery across the nation. Local governments are using these critical recovery funds to invest in public safety, vaccine distribution, housing/rental assistance, local economic support, economic and workforce development, broadband expansion, social safety-net services, hospitality/tourism development, and hazard pay for public employees.
Based on these insights, America’s counties have the following recommendations related to each of the categories contained in the U.S. Treasury’s IFR:
- Provide additional flexibility for Recovery Funds to ensure our nation’s preparedness and responsivity continues.
- Provide further clarity on eligible uses of Recovery Funds to ensure counties comply with the US Treasury’s goals and the intentions of the IFR.
- Incorporate additional eligible uses of Recovery Funds that will help support local and national recovery.
Since the U.S. Treasury IFR was published, NACo surveyed its membership to identify outstanding questions on eligible uses, desired spending, and implementation of the Recovery Fund. Over the last two months, NACo received over 1,000 questions, comments, recommendations, and case studies from hundreds of counties across the country, which helped shape NACo’s comments to the U.S. Treasury.