Coronavirus Relief Fund Public Safety Payroll Costs Update
The Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance for State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Governments was updated on September 2, 2020, to provide additional guidance related to “substantially dedicated” payroll. The update states that public health and public safety employees meet the substantially dedicated test, unless the chief executive (or equivalent) of the relevant government determines that specific circumstances indicate otherwise. This clarification allows that all costs of such employees may be covered using payments from the fund for services provided during the period from March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020.
Many governments that have been hoping to replace lost revenue with Coronavirus Relief Funds will find this as a helpful alternative. Governments expend a significant amount of general resources for payroll costs for public health and safety departments. Governments will now be able to use the Coronavirus Relief Fund money for these services during the covered period, allowing governments to use general resources for other priorities. The guidance also clarifies which employees are within the scope of this accommodation.
See the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s (Treasury) guidance for more details.
FAQ Addresses Administrative Relief for School Reopening
To provide administrative convenience for elementary and secondary schools’ reopening expenses, Treasury will presume that expenses of up to $500 per student do not need documentation of the specific use of funds up to that amount. See the question and answer from the Treasury FAQ below:
53. May Fund recipients incur expenses associated with the safe reopening of schools?
Yes, payments from the Fund may be used to cover costs associated with providing distance learning (e.g., the cost of laptops to provide to students) or for in-person learning (e.g., the cost of acquiring personal protective equipment for students attending schools in-person or other costs associated with meeting Centers for Disease Control guidelines). To this end, as an administrative convenience, Treasury will presume that expenses of up to $500 per elementary and secondary school student to be eligible expenditures, such that schools do not need to document the specific use of funds up to that amount.
For more information, reach out to your BKD Trusted Advisor™ or submit the Contact Us form below.