State Government

$120 mil redirected to VT towns, cities

Fed ARPA funding originally slated for county government

County courthouses (such as Bennington, above) and sheriff’s offices comprise much of the budget of Vermont county government. Most other public spending is at the state and local level, and federal ARPA funding for Vermont has been adjusted to reflect that reality.

$120 million of federal money originally ticketed for Vermont’s 14 county governments instead will go to cities and towns, a statement from Vermont’s congressional delegation said.

In most states, county governments have big budgets and programs. County government in Vermont is relatively small in both duties and funding, with most big programs happening on either the state or community level.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch, announced Friday that the U.S. Treasury Department will release funding secured through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) designated for communities in Vermont’s 14 counties. The funding had been held back due to the Treasury Department’s previous designation that Vermont’s counties were units of general local government, as is the case in most other states.

Since the March passage of the ARPA, the delegation has been working with the Treasury Department to correct this designation to more accurately reflect the reality in Vermont. In guidance to be released Friday, the Treasury Department has revised its original designation, clearing the way for more than $120 million once ticketed for counties to be distributed to municipalities across Vermont.

The congressional delegation, in partnership with the State of Vermont, has been working with the Treasury Department to find a path forward to ensure this critical money gets out the door to help Vermonters. In a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing in June, Leahy, who chairs the Appropriations Committee, pressed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to review and revise the guidance.

In total, the State of Vermont, counties, cities and towns throughout Vermont received $1.25 billion in funding through the ARPA’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

Categories: State Government

2 replies »

  1. Please! Lets put this money to good use and not “fritter” it away, wasting it on useless projects or social causes. The article claims that the counties are well financed already? Perhaps it would be nice and appropriate that town or county or even education taxes could be reduced if nothing else. Perhaps the citizens would have better ideas than even government representatives.

    • “Perhaps” the citizens would have better ideas than even government representatives”(?????) My pet turtle has far better ideas that any government representatives, and he’s asleep most of the time.

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