Community leaders across New York – including Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist – are urging that the next federal stimulus bill include funding that will flow directly to the communities that have been devastated by the repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Local government has borne the brunt of the fiscal impact – from organizing the response to COVID-19 cases to revenue drying up amid businesses shuttering .
Counties outside New York City are expected to lose a cumulative $2 billion in sales tax revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both the New York State Association of Counties and the New York Conference of Mayors are each calling for federal funding in a phase IV stimulus package known as the Coronavirus Community Relief Act.
“The Coronavirus Community Relief Act would provide a $250 billion stand-alone fund for COVID-19 related costs for communities with fewer than 500,000 residents,” Sundquist said. “This comes after smaller municipalities were mostly left out in the CARES act, which only provided a direct federal fund for states, tribal groups, and cities larger than 500,000 residents, which comprises only 14% of the United States population.”
“County leaders are the onsite incident commanders, serving as the generals on the ground. They are developing innovative ways to stop the spread of the virus, modeling courage at the local level, and are focused on strengthening their communities during this global pandemic,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario. “The NY Counties Lead campaign will share the stories of innovation, courage and community that exemplify the work of our county leaders and heroic frontline workers they oversee.”
Meanwhile, Congressman Tom Reed on Tuesday said he will support the effort to get the funding, adding that the Phase IV stimulus package will likely be developed and finalized in May.