WASHINGTON – US Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) Obtained clarification from the US Treasury that local and state coronavirus tax relief funds can be used as grants for households, small businesses and organizations for purpose nonprofit whose utility bills are inflated due to the shortage of natural gas during winter storm Uri in February.
“Many Kansans are concerned about the sharp increase in their gas bills following the surge in natural gas prices earlier this year,” Senator Moran said. âI am pleased that the US Treasury has now granted increased flexibility to state and local governments regarding the authorized use of federal relief funds after I raised this issue to them in March. As Kansans continues to grapple with the economic impacts of the pandemic, the move will alleviate much dismay for states affected by the extreme weather conditions in February that caused high natural gas prices. “
Click HERE to watch Senator Moran’s full remarks
In March, Senator Moran asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about the flexible use of federal funds provided to state and local governments to deal with the dire circumstances many Kansans have faced due to extreme weather conditions. from February. During this hearing, Senator Moran urged the U.S. Treasury to develop guidelines to use the most recent COVID-19 relief legislation to ease the burden on Kansas households and businesses from utility bills. expensive.
This week, the US Treasury allowed more flexibility in the use of federal funds for utility costs by issuing the following guidelines regarding qualifying uses:
What types of services are eligible as responses to the negative economic impacts of the pandemic?
Eligible uses in this category include assistance to households; small businesses and non-profit organizations; and assistance to affected industries. Household assistance includes, but is not limited to: food assistance; rent, mortgage or utility assistance; advice and legal aid to prevent eviction or homelessness; cash assistance; emergency assistance for burials, home repairs, weatherization or other needs; Internet access or digital literacy assistance; or vocational training to deal with the negative impacts on the economy or public health due to a worker’s profession or level of training.
Assistance to small businesses and non-profit organizations includes, but is not limited to:
- Loans or grants to alleviate financial hardship such as declining income or the impacts of business shutdowns, for example by covering salary and benefits costs, employee retention costs, mortgage, rent or utility costs, and other operating costs;
- Loans, grants, or in-kind assistance to implement COVID-19 prevention or mitigation tactics, such as physical modifications to facilities to allow for social distancing, improved cleaning efforts, barriers or partitions, or COVID-19 vaccination, testing or contact tracing programs; and Technical assistance, advice or other services to meet business planning needs
- Technical assistance, advice or other services to meet business planning needs
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