American Rescue Plan for Governments: The Resources Available
- Rob Lemmon
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has provided numerous financial stimulus packages to support the community and the economy. However, local governments have seen their largest funding source come from the signing of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The CARES Act funding primarily landed with states and counties, but for the first time with ARPA, 19,000 municipal governments were entitled to a direct, non-competitive federal formula grant from the U.S. Treasury Department. ARPA includes $360 billion in the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, which is the portion of ARPA designated for states and local governments. The allocation of the funding is as follows:
Many local governments are currently trying to determine the best method for spending their designated ARPA funds. Since the ARPA funds will likely be subject to grant compliance single audits in the future, there is apprehension about ensuring the usage of the funds in an eligible fashion, and that all compliance remains a top priority. For many smaller governments, the receipt of this funding can lead to an entity’s first single audit. The compounding effect of this apprehension with the political pressures of utilizing the funding on efficient and effective programs, along with the Treasury Department’s guidance giving ample latitude for eligible spending, results in a wealth of uncertainties. For many governmental entities, there doesn’t seem to be a proper place to start when it comes to creating a spending plan. If your organization received ARPA funds and is unsure of how to properly plan for efficient spending, there are several resources that can provide detailed insight into the process.
Despite this broad range of resources, it can be very challenging for governments to determine the best course of action to utilize these funds. However, engaging with a CPA firm allows governmental entities to receive answers to all of their questions while confidently preparing a plan for the future. If your organization has further questions on ARPA and how to utilize those funds, we encourage you to reach out to a CRI advisor for more information. You can also register to view CRI’s free webinar that further discusses the subject matter and will enable participants to pose questions to advisors.
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