Public Input Sought –American Recovery Plan Funds
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021 FACT SHEET
The American Rescue Plan Act will:
- Increase direct assistance to households in need across America by $1,400 per person, bringing the total (including the $600 down payment enacted in December) to $2,000 for eligible recipients.
- Extend and expand unemployment insurance and give families with children as well as childless workers a boost through enhanced tax credits, including:
- Extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program which extends benefits to some self-employed and some other pandemic-affected individuals who don’t qualify for regular state unemployment benefits through September 6;
- Extends Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, the federal supplement to state UI benefits of $300 for the weeks ending after March 14 until September 6;
- Ensures up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation isn’t taxed for households making less than $150,000 a year for 2020;
- Makes the child tax credit fully refundable, and advanceable, for 2021 and increases the amount to $3,000 per child ($3,600 per child under age 6); and
- Helps families access high-quality childcare by expanding the Child and Dependent Tax Credit (CDCTC) to allow many families to claim up to half of their childcare expenses.
- Extend enhanced SNAP benefits, providing funds to alleviate backlogs and respond to pandemic impacts in our food supply chains.
- Provide $2.5 billion in emergency rental assistance.
- Provide nutrition assistance to families and expand access to safe and reliable childcare and affordable health care.
- Provide nearly $130 billion to help K-12 schools safely reopen and address lost time in the classroom, including an estimated $5 billion for schools in Pennsylvania.
- Dedicate nearly $40 billion for institutions of higher education and requires institutions to dedicate at least half of their funding for emergency financial aid grants to students.
- Provide resources to increase COVID-19 vaccinations across the country to test, treat and protect all Americans. The plan will mount a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide. It will also take complementary measures to combat the virus, including scaling up testing and tracing, addressing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies, investing in high-quality treatments, and addressing health care disparities.
- Provide support for small businesses including:
- $15 billion for COVID-19 Emergency Grants Through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program;
- $7.25 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expands eligibility of 501(c) nonprofits of all sizes and types; and
- $28.6 billion for a new program at the Small Business Administration (SBA) to aid restaurants and bars with 20 or fewer locations, with $5 billion set aside specifically for smaller establishments with less than $500,000 in 2019 annual revenue.
- Provide crucial resources to protect the jobs and health of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers, and other essential workers that all Americans depend on, including:
- $20 billion for vaccine administration and distribution;
- $48.3 billion for testing, contact tracing, and mitigation and purchasing personal protective equipment; and
- $7.66 billion to hire thousands of full-time employees into the public health workforce.
- Procure essential medical supplies and equipment through the Defense Production Act.
- Provide key funding for transit agencies, airports, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) including:
- $30 billion for transit to help transit agencies keep jobs for drivers, mechanics and other employees;
- Purchase of PPE, shields, sanitizer, wipes for their workers, and to maintain the transit routes relied upon by Americans;
- $10 billion for a Critical Infrastructure Projects program to help states, territories, and Tribal governments carry out capital projects directly enabling work, education, and health, in response to COVID-19.
- $8 billion in emergency aid for airports – including approximately $35 million for Pittsburgh International Airport; and
- $50 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund.
- Provide funds to help the VA meet the health and economic needs of our nation’s veterans, including funds to waive copays for treatment and to help the VA reduce claims and appeals backlogs caused by COVID.
- Include direct payments, extended pandemic-related unemployment benefits, financial assistance for individuals to retain health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, and funding for enhancements to refundable tax credits – like the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit – designed to help low-income Americans and combat child poverty.
- Provide $7 billion to invest in broadband infrastructure to help schools and libraries ensure that all students can fully participate in remote learning while schools work to safely reopen.
- Provide $350 billion for state and local governments. For Pennsylvania, that means approximately $7.3 billion for the state government and $6.4 billion for local governments across the Commonwealth. For local governments the funding amount is determined by population. Local governments will receive their allocations in two tranches – the first half 60 days after enactment and the other half one year later. For nonentitlement units of local government, those deadlines are the dates for Treasury to send the funding to the state, which then has an extra 30 days to distribute appropriately.
Public Input Sought on Honesdale Borough Funds
Honesdale Borough received $224,144.45 at the end of July 2021 and will receive the same amount in July of 2022. The federal government has issued Interim Guidelines for the uses of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding. It can be accessed at this link: https://www.naco.org/resources/featured/us-treasury-interim-final-rule-guidance-state-and-local-fiscal .
Borough Council executed a Memorandum of Understanding provided by the Wayne County Commissioners for services to be performed by Zelekofske Axelrod, LLC with regards to the American Rescue Plan funding program at its September 20, 2021, Council meeting. This expenditure of $4,482.88 will insure that the complex reporting to the state and federal government will be completed as per guidelines.
Honesdale Borough Council has previously and continues to accept rental and mortgage assistance applications under another program offered through the federal government and through the Community Development Block Grant Program known as the CDBG-CV Subsistence Payments Mortgage and Rental Assistance Program.
In addition, to specific Interim Guideline categories for expenditures, infrastructure projects such as stormwater projects may be considered as uses for the ARP funds. Also under specific uses, parks and recreational uses may be permitted. The funds may even, in some cases, be used as local match in other funding programs.
While public comment is always welcomed by Borough Council, comments and suggestions are asked to be submitted by November 30, 2021. The link is here: http://honesdaleborough.com/contact-information/.