The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program, also known as SLFRF, offers $350 billion to state, local, and Tribal governments in the US. The program, a part of the American Rescue Plan, is designed to help the US recover from COVID-19 and its far-reaching impacts. Governments can apply for these funds under four enumerated uses:
- Replacing Lost Public Sector Revenue – use funding to cover services traditionally provided by the government, up to the amount of revenue lost due to COVID-19
- Responding to Public Health and Economic Impacts of COVID-19 – address COVID-19 from a public health and economic perspective, curbing its effects on individual and community wellbeing and economic health
- Providing Premium Pay for Essential Workers – offer greater support to those who worked in jobs the most-impacted by COVID-19
- Investing in Water, Sewer, and Broadband Infrastructure – improve access to quality water, sewer, and broadband access
The Department of the Treasury published an Interim Rule of the SLFRF in May 2021. After receiving commentary from the public and taking it into consideration to simplify the program, the Treasury published the Final Rule of the SLFRF on January 6, 2022. While governments had to wait until April 1, 2022, for the Final Rule to go into effect, they can now apply for funding under the four categories above.
Once funding is received, SLFRF funds may only be used for costs incurred on or after March 3, 2021. Furthermore, governments receiving SLFRF funding must obligate the funds they received by December 31, 2024. Said funds must be expended upon by December 31, 2026, or they are to be returned to the Department of the Treasury.
There are subcategories that expand upon possible uses for governments applying for the fundings under each of the categories of use. The Final Rule provides many enumerated uses of funding, covering just about any cost a government incurred as a result of COVID-19. Moreover, the Final Rule leaves a lot of flexibility in the application of funding from SLFRF. Barely any restrictions exist on the use of SLFRF funds—the Final Rule only declares that governments cannot use funding to go against the mission of the SLFRF to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, offset reductions in net tax revenue, make deposits into pension funds, and settle debts or settlements. Otherwise, a near-limitless possibility of funding is available for local governments to apply to.
Curious about SLFRF funding? About its enumerated uses? About creative uses for your local government? Follow our blog series to discover the ins & outs of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Plan and how you can best use it!