WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul Cook (R-Calif.) introduced the Coronavirus County Relief and Stability Act, a supplement to the CARES Act. The bill would provide $36 billion to counties of all sizes for coronavirus-related expenses and revenue losses. The bill also includes a five-year extension of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which helps to offset costs incurred for county services — including road and bridge upkeep, public safety and emergency medical services — for counties with untaxable federal public lands.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) released the following statement. NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase said:
We are grateful to Representative Cook for introducing this bill, which would provide provides much-needed relief to counties of all sizes during this unprecedented public health and economic crisis. With vast public health, safety and economic recovery responsibilities, counties are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic response.
“We also appreciate that the bill includes funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program which would help the 62 percent of America’s counties that have untaxable federal lands within their jurisdiction and need long-term funding certainty. These federal lands counties need long-term certainty in PILT funding to plan budgets and continue to provide critical services to residents and visitors alike.
“We thank Representatives Cook, LaMalfa, Panetta and Carbajal for their bipartisan efforts to ensure county governments have the resources we need during these unpredictable times. We urge the administration and Congress to unite in supporting relief efforts on the ground.”
Led by 40,000 elected county officials and a workforce of 3.6 million public servants, America’s 3,069 counties support over 1,900 local public health departments, nearly 1,000 public hospitals and critical access clinics, more than 800 long-term care facilities and 750 behavioral health centers.
Additionally, county governments are responsible for emergency operations centers and 911 services, court and jail management, public safety and emergency response, protective services for children, seniors and veterans, and the “last of the first responders” with coroners and medical examiners.
NACo’s coronavirus online hub includes county level examples of response efforts, interactive maps and analyses of federal actions. View this resource-rich webpage at www.naco.org/coronavirus.Standard