American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Information Page
New updates to this page are highlighted. Last Update: June 17, 2021
U.S. Treasury Guidance and Resources on State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds ("SLFRF") from ARPA (applicable to all municipalities):
- Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) Fact Sheet
- Interim Final Rule (guidance on use of SLFRF funds)
- The IFR describes the rules and parameters for use of SLFRF monies from ARPA. The IFR is the official rule from Treasury, and it applies to all municipalities, both metropolitan communities and NEUs.
- SLFRF FAQ, U.S. Treasury (Updated Regularly; Last Update: June 17, 2021)
- This above FAQ is a live document link that is updated regularly. We recommend checking back here regularly or bookmarking this link for easy access.
- Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Program (U.S. Treasury official website)
GOFERR Guidance and Information Specific to Nonentitlement Units of Government ("NEUs")
Except for the 5 "metropolitan cities" in NH (Nashua, Manchester, Dover, Rochester & Portsmouth) all municipalities are NEUs under ARPA/Treasury guidance.
Visit the GOFERR website.
GOFERR has released the NEU allocations and other information for requesting and receiving NEU funds!
- June 17, 2021 - NEU Application Period Opens
- August 18, 2021- NEU Application Deadline
- Do the following before you apply:
- Obtain or confirm your local government’s valid DUNS number
- Gather your local government’s business information:
- Entity Taxpayer Identification Number
- NH Vendor Number (NH Vendor Application )
- Authorized representative name, title, phone and email
- Contact person name title, phone and email
- Confirm your local government’s top-line budget total, which is defined as your local government’s total annual operating budget, including general fund and other funds, in effect as of January 27, 2020 (same as 2019 Operating Budget Appropriations Line on MS-636 or MS-737 as modified, if at all, by Authorized Approving Body)
- Review Treasury Award Terms and Conditions Agreement
- Review Assurances of Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Watch GOFERR's June 16 NEU Webinar! (You will be required to enter you name and email before being taken to the recording)
- Have questions? Contact GOFERR about your LFRF $!
US Treasury Guidance Specific to "NEUs"
The above FAQ is a live document link that is updated regularly. We recommended checking back regularly or bookmarking the link for easy access.
NLC Fact Sheets & Tools
- How to spend SLFRF
- How to access your community's funds
- How to meet reporting requirements
- How states allocate funds to NEUs
- How to use SLFRF to ease budget shortfalls
- NEU Fact Sheet (NLC, June 2, 2021)
- NLC Revenue Loss Calculator
Other Resources Relative to Treasury's Guidance:
- GFOA Webinar: What you need to know about the American Rescue Plan Act
- GFOA Revenue Loss Calculator
- GFOA SLFRF Use FAQs
- NHMA's Acceptance of SLFRF $ Guidance
- Note: HB 2, the NH state budget trailer bill, now includes an amendment that would allow all towns and village districts to use RSA 31:95-b to accept ARPA funds, regardless of whether the town/district has previously adopted RSA 31:95-b. If the budget is passed with that amendment included, we advise all towns and districts to move forward with acceptance under that statute.
- Please note that an online portal (id.ME site) has been created on the U.S. Treasury page for entitlement units of local government (also referred to as "metropolitan communities") to request their direct funds. Only five cities in New Hampshire qualify as entitlement units and should use this portal. All other municipalities are non-entitlement units of local government (NEUs) and do not have to login. Funds for NEUs will be distributed by U.S. Treasury to the State of New Hampshire, and then the state has 30 days (unless there are extenuating circumstances) to redistribute the funds to the NEUs.
- Do you have implementation questions? Submit them to NLC here.
NLC Presentations on Treasury Guidance
- SLFRF Presentation Slides (May 12, 2021)
- SLFRF Guidance UPDATE (May 20, 2021)
- NLC ARPA Presentation (May 26, 2021):
Have You Taken the Following Steps?
Ensure the entity has a valid DUNS number. A DUNS number is a unique nine-character number used to identify an organization and is issued by Dun & Bradstreet. The federal government uses the DUNS number to track how federal money is allocated. A DUNS number is required prior to registering with the SAM database, which is outlined below. Registering for a DUNS number is free of charge.
If an entity does not have a valid DUNS number, please visit https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/ or call 1-866-705-5711 to begin the registration process.
Ensure the entity has an active SAM registration. SAM is the official government-wide database to register with in order to do business with the U.S. government. All Federal financial assistance recipients must register on SAM.gov and renew their SAM registration annually to maintain an active status to be eligible to receive Federal financial assistance. There is no charge to register or maintain your entity SAM registration.
If an entity does not have an active SAM registration, please visit, SAM.gov to begin the entity registration or renewal process. Please note that SAM registration can take up to three weeks; delay in registering in SAM could impact timely payment of funds.
Gather the entity’s payment information, including:
Entity Identification Number (EIN), name, and contact information
Name and title of an authorized representative of the entity
Financial institution information (e.g., routing and account number, financial institution name and contact information)
Eligible Non-entitlement Units of Local Government will receive a distribution of funds from their respective state government. “Non-entitlement units of local government” are defined in 42 U.S.C. 5302(a)(5) that are not metropolitan cities. For these Non-entitlement units of local government, Treasury will allocate and pay funds to state governments, and the state will distribute funds to non-entitlement units of local government in proportion to population. Non-entitlement units must have a valid DUNS number to meet reporting the requirements under the program. If an entity does not have a valid DUNS number, please visit https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/ or call 1-866-705-5711 to begin the registration process.
What is Included in ARPA for Cities and Towns?
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 – the latest COVID-19 stimulus package – is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill. Within the ARP, the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund provides $350 billion for states, municipalities, counties, tribes, and territories, including $130 billion for local governments split evenly between municipalities and counties. Many details will continue to emerge as agencies issue guidance to implement provisions of the bill. NHMA is working with NLC and our Congressional Delegation to provide timely updates and information.
Below are some key resources of interest to towns, cities, and village districts.
- Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, U.S. Treasury website
- State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Fact Sheet
- Subtitle M, Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
- Searchable Location Allocations Tool (Allocations are still estimates)
- Searchable Summary of Relevant ARPA Provisions
- Letter from Governor Sununu (April 19, 2021)
- The American Rescue Plan: Impacts on New Hampshire
- GFOA Analysis of ARPA
- GFOA Presentation on ARPA to NH House Ways & Means Committee
- GFOA Guiding Principles for ARP Implementation
- Title-By-Title Summary of the Entire Act
- Text of the full bill (H.R. 1319)
- Changes made by the U.S. Senate before passing bill
- NLC COVID19/ARPA Information Page
Distributions to Local Government
Amount of Distributions to Local Government
The U.S. Department of Treasury has released the direct payments to NH's five metropolitan communities. For all other municipalities (towns and cities that are NEUs), the state is in the process of calculating the allocations for distribution. (Please refer to NEU specific information near the top of this page.)
- For comparison/informational purposes only, you can view the original Estimated Allocation Amounts to state & local governments (Date: 3/08/2021; Source: NLC)
- Also for comparison/informational purposes only, you can use this NLC allocation tool to view the estimated amount your community is eligible for. (These are estimates from the House Committee on Oversight, not final allocations. )
Nonentitlement – Additional Distribution Information:
- “Nonentitlement” is short for “nonentitlement unit of local government,” which is the term used for cities, townships, villages, and small municipalities that generally have fewer than 50,000 inhabitants. Those allocations would be made proportionate to population and are subject to a cap of 75% of the locality’s most recent budget as of January 27, 2020.
- Are village districts eligible to receive ARPA funds? Per US Treasury, village districts will not receive a portion of the state's allocations to NEUs. Instead, the US Treasury FAQ states the following:
- 1.3. Are special-purpose units of government eligible to receive funds?
Special-purpose units of local government will not receive funding allocations; however, a state, territory, local, or Tribal government may transfer funds to a special-purpose unit of government. Special-purpose districts perform specific functions in the community, such as fire, water, sewer or mosquito abatement districts.
- 1.3. Are special-purpose units of government eligible to receive funds?
- Cap on Distribution: The American Rescue Act includes a provision stating no city with less than 50,000 residents can receive a grant that is larger than an amount equal to 75% of their pre-pandemic budget, regardless of whether the estimates indicate an amount greater than that figure. This is not accounted for in the “estimated allocation amounts” because data on small city budgets is not systematically collected by any federal entity. We expect Treasury to provide a way for small cities and towns to certify what that cap amounts to for the municipality.
- Reference Guide: Understanding further allocations between CDBG communities and nonentitlement communities (NLC)
Timing of Distributions
- First Tranche Amount – 50%: To the extent practical, not later than 60 days from the date of enactment.
Nonentitlement Distributions - Because it could take a full year for the Department of Treasury to calculate and disburse the allocations for smaller local governments (generally those with under 50,000 inhabitants, comprising over 33,000 entities), the Department of Treasury is instead required to send the first tranche fund amounts to the states within 60 days of the law’s enactment. States would then have 30 days to disburse the funds to the local governments (“nonentitlement units of local government”) based on population. A state could ask Treasury for an extension for distributing one or more of those allocations if necessary, but it would need to justify why the extension is warranted. States would have no discretionary authority to change the amount of, or attach additional requirements to, the payments allocated to local governments
- Second Tranche Amount – 50%: Not earlier than 12 months after the date of the First Tranche Amount.
- As with the first tranche distributions, nonentitlement second tranche amounts are also required to be passed through the states.
Permissible Uses of SLFRF monies
On May 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of Treasury produced clarifying guidance (the Interim Final Rule--IFR) on the use of these funds for cities and towns. Please refer to the Treasury guidance link and FAQ at the top of this page.
The basic purposes for which the funds can be used are as follows:
- respond to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality
- for the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year
- make necessary investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure, or
- include premium pay for eligible workers performing essential work during the pandemic*
*Guidance on Treatment of ‘Premium Pay’ Under ARPA
In a press release dated May 19, 2021, The New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) has determined that “Premium Pay” under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is earnable compensation for retirement calculation purposes and subject to member and employer contributions.
Premium Pay is optional additional compensation funded by federal money provided to state and local governments under ARPA for eligible workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Premium Pay is not mandated under ARPA, but the law gives employers the option to grant this additional pay, up to $13 per hour, and not to exceed $25,000.00 per eligible worker, to employees deemed eligible under US Treasury rules. NHRS views this as a temporary increase in the member’s base rate of compensation. If a participating employer authorizes Premium Pay to an NHRS member, the compensation should be reported to the retirement system as base compensation, and member and employer contributions should be remitted.
Other key provisions
- states are not allowed to use the funds to either directly or indirectly offset a reduction in the net tax revenue that results from a change in law, regulation or administrative interpretation during the covered period that reduces any tax
- No funds shall be deposited into any pension fund
- state and local governments are allowed to transfer to a private nonprofit organization, a public benefit corporation involved in the transportation of passengers or cargo, or a special-purpose unit of state or local government.
Reporting Requirements, Certification and Recoupment
- States are required to report how funds are used and how their tax revenue was modified during the time that funds were spent during the covered period (covered period begins on March 3, 2021, and ends on the last day of the fiscal year a state or local government has expended or returned all funds to the U.S. Treasury).
- Local governments would be required to provide "periodic reports" providing a detailed accounting of the use of funds
- If a state, county or municipality does not comply with any provision of this bill, they will be required to repay the U.S. Treasury an equal amount to the funds used in violation
- Certification: The Act does not require local government entities to "certify need" to justify receiving their funding. Cities, towns, and villages are all entitled to their calculated share without any further hurdles or application/certification process. There has been some confusion about this, particularly for the CDBG entitlement communities. But NLC has made clear that only the formula is being used from CDBG: No other processes, rules, or requirements from CDBG apply to ARPA funds.
Paid Sick Leave Tax Credit Extension for State and Local Governments
ARPA extends eligibility for the refundable tax credit to be used by state and local employers who were previously ineligible. Explanatory Note: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) included requirements for certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave benefits related to COVID-19. FFCRA also provided private sector employers with a refundable payroll tax credit to alleviate the financial burdens of the sick leave, but prohibited state and local governments to claim it.
NHMA is awaiting further information on how this tax credit will work for local government. Preliminarily, we understand that local government will file a Form 941 to be paid the amount of the credit. We are also awaiting confirmation of whether cities and towns will get the benefit of the April 1 FFRCA "reset" that private employers qualify for.
If you're a member of NHMA and you have a question about ARPA, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.