While negotiations in Washington, D.C., continue, additional direct federal relief for local governments remains uncertain. House Democrats recently released a $3 trillion phase four COVID-19 relief proposal that would provide $500 billion to state governments and $375 billion to local governments. Thus far, emergency federal aid provided by Congress is only for expenses directly related to COVID-19 response. Funds have yet to be allocated to replace lost revenue, which is a critical issue for counties and other local governments.
In a recent memorandum to the Texas congressional delegation, TAC President Renee Couch and Executive Director Susan M. Redford urged the delegation to:
- Provide direct relief for counties of all sizes.
- Make lost revenue an eligible use for the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) and future funding.
- Divide federal funding equally between cities and counties using a population formula.
- Enact accountability standards to ensure proper use of federal funds.
A national economic impact analysis forecasts at least $144 billion in lost revenue and $30 billion in additional expenditures for county governments through fiscal year 2021. As Texas counties continue to face declining revenue and increased emergency spending, they may lose $5.5 billion or more this year alone.
For more information, contact Paul Sugg.