Local Governments Plan for American Rescue Plan Funds
by Shylo Bisnett, on April 23, 2021 at 11:09 AM
Through the American Rescue Plan, $1.9 trillion is flowing to cities, counties, tribal governments, school districts, transit agencies, and more. Right now, these bodies are deciding how to best use these funds for short-term relief and long-term impact to speed local government economic recovery, from covering immediate payroll to tax-and-fee administration technology. Here's our previous take on the ARP.
The National League of Cities has collected estimated allocations for communities across America. See what neighboring or similar communities have received.
Guidance from the Brookings Institution
This think tank challenges local leaders to use ARP funds quickly, but also equitably, and outlines some key parameters for considering how to allocate these critical dollars. Read the full article here.
- Stabilize: So many local governments ran massive deficits last year and are considering cuts to critical services, including essential personnel. These dollars can shore up budgets now and prevent further bleeding.
- Strategize: Consider long-term needs when distributing ARP money. Brookings advises local leaders to consider judging any wide-ranging plans by four factors: immediacy, inclusivity, future prosperity, and complementarity.
- Organize: Work with other communities, not-for-profit groups, business leaders, and others to develop comprehensive plans.
Keep tabs on other communities
While local leaders across America start to grapple with how to most effectively spend ARP dollars, follow discussions as to the priorities of other communities to spark ideas for yours.
- Hancock County, Indiana: “County has big ideas for COVID-19 relief funds” Greenfield Reporter, 4/21/21
- Rock Springs, Wyoming: “RS Mayor: American Rescue Plan Funds Will Help, but Not City’s ‘Saving Grace’” Sweetwater Now, 4/20/21
- Oakdale, California: “Preliminary Discussions Start For Rescue Plan $$” Oakland Leader, 4/21/01
- Halifax County, Virginia: “Millions in federal aid flows to county, town governments” Gazette-Virginian, 4/21/21
- Wadena, Minnesota: “How the American Rescue Plan applies to individuals, businesses” Pioneer-Journal, 4/20/21
- Shelby, Ohio: “Shelby City Council weighs gameplan for $1.77 million in ARP funds” Richland Source, 4/20/21
- Clallam & Jefferson Counties, Washington: “Federal pandemic relief is on the way $600 million for Clallam, Jefferson counties” Peninsula Daily News, 4/21/01
- Dallas, Texas: “Dallas City Council to Go Over Plan for Latest COVID Relief Dollars” NBC Dallas-Ft. Worth, 4/21/21
- Newton County, Georgia: “American Rescue Plan providing $28M to Newton cities, county” The Covington News, 3/31/21
Using ARP funds to improve tax-and-fee administration technology
A selection of our municipal customers are allocating ARP dollars to upgrading tech options for taxpayers—a benefit to taxpayers as well as local governments.
Now is the perfect time to take the step to transition to a tax-and-fee administration platform such as Localgov.
- Taxpayer convenience: Economic recovery begins this summer. For your local businesses, this brings relief, but also the added stress of making sure they’re in compliance with taxes and fees. Localgov is a consumer-style online platform that lets your business taxpayers get in compliance on their own terms—and on their own schedule.
- Data exploration: As the world reopens fully and the economy recovers, you’ll want to know what sectors are lagging, what parts of your business community might need attention or extra investment. Localgov connects you with data that helps you closely monitor the health of your economy.
- Freed-up staff: So many communities still process paper checks and forms. That takes up so much time and staff resources that could be going to more high-impact development efforts. Localgov takes that process online—and our Concierge Customer Service team handles any issues.
Let’s talk with your finance and technology teams to discuss how our tax collection solution Localgov, is right for you—and might be covered by CARES or ARP funds.