The $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package the House of Representatives passed late Friday night includes $15 million for the City of Manteca.
It is the share Manteca would receive from $350 billion set aside for state and local governments. That is based on a formula that is in the legislation that Congressman Josh Harder shared with city officials in the 10th Congressional District during a Zoom conference.
The cities of Ripon and Lathrop would also receive money if the Senate passes the package intact and President Joe Biden signs the bill into law.
Based on the mid-year budget adjustment, the city will end up losing $6.2 million from COVID-19 lockdowns slamming sales and hotel room taxes and other revenue sources. That includes $4.1 million in general fund revenue that helps pay for day-to-day police and fire services.
Given the presentation the council was given was based on last year’s fiscal budget that was simply rolled over when the new fiscal year started July 1 and was not updated, it is not clear whether that $6.2 million loss reflects lost revenue from a drop in taxes from mid-march to June 30 when lockdowns were in effect during the last fiscal year.
If they are the city would be able to backfill reserves that were spent down by $6.2 million and have $8.8 million going forward on July 1 to cover lost revenue from lockdowns.
It is not clear presently if the money is ultimately approved what restrictions may be placed on it by the federal government.
City management has indicated if allowed given addressing homeless issues has become a big concern during the pandemic, part of it might be able to go toward the effort to establish a permanent navigation center for the homeless.
If such expenditure is allowed, the decision to use it part of it for a homeless shelter rests with the council.
And should the money become available it would take most pressure of — if not all — in the short term to push for new taxes to maintain current municipal service levels.
Most Republicans in Congress object to the provision arguing it is not appropriately target. They also argue billions sent to states, counties, and cities in May for COVID relief have still not been spent.
The rationale for the $350 billion are that lockdowns that forced people to stay home and shut down businesses such as restaurants triggered significant drop off in local tax revenues. Cities also have incurred more expenses in dealing with COVID-19 related issues.
In order to remain eligible for the funds assuming it clears the Senate and is sent to the president’s desk, the City Council when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. will need to extend the local health emergency that was first declared back in mid-March of 2020. It has been routinely extended on a periodic basis since then.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com