FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2021
Jody Seaborn, Media Relations Strategist
TAC Establishes American Rescue Plan Resource Page for Texas Counties
Texas Association of Counties keeps local officials informed on pandemic relief measure.
AUSTIN — The Texas Association of Counties (TAC) announced today that it has established an American Rescue Plan resources webpage to provide guidance to county officials and answer their questions about the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief measure.
The American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed into law in March, includes $5.7 billion in direct federal aid for Texas counties. The money is part of the $65.1 billion the act sets aside to help county governments nationwide cover costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and support an economic recovery.
"The American Rescue Plan allows all Texas counties to steer this new federal funding into vital services specific to the needs of their area," TAC Executive Director Susan M. Redford said. "The TAC resource page shares essential guidance from the federal government on how these funds can be used and provides answers to questions specific to Texas counties."
On May 10, the U.S. Treasury Department opened a portal through which counties can begin the process of requesting their share of American Rescue Plan funds. The department also listed the amount each Texas county will receive and released guidance on eligible uses.
The department previously had established the Office of Recovery Programs to administer the distribution of funds authorized by the American Rescue Plan and other pandemic-related legislation.
Each county's allocation is based mostly on its share of the U.S. population. Half the money will arrive starting this month; the other half will come no earlier than 12 months after the first payment. Counties have until Dec. 31, 2024, to spend the money they receive.
The American Rescue Plan gives counties flexibility to decide how best to use the funds they receive. Treasury guidelines allow local governments to use the money toward several broad purposes, including covering costs and revenue shortfalls related to the pandemic; hiring and retaining essential personnel; and repairing, improving or investing in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
"Counties have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response in Texas and play a pivotal role in the state's economic recovery from the pandemic," Redford said. "American Rescue Plan funding gives Texas counties an opportunity to invest in critical infrastructure projects."
Counties can use the federal funds for pandemic-related expenses only. They are not permitted to deposit the money into any pension program, for example, or pay legal settlements or judgments.
More information about the act and its allowable uses can be found on TAC's American Rescue Plan Information & Resources page available on the association's website, www.county.org.
The Texas Association of Counties was established in 1969 to provide services to Texas counties and to promote the value of county government statewide. TAC is the representative voice for all 254 Texas counties and county officials. Through TAC, counties communicate the county perspective to state officials and the citizens of Texas.