The Balance Sheet

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The Balance Sheet

The Balance Sheet is the blog of the Local Government Commission staff. Click below to sign up to receive email alerts when new blog posts are released.

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For announcements and resources related to ARPA funds and the impacts of COVID-19, visit our Local Government ARPA Resources page.

ARPA Resources

NEUs and ARPA Funds

Monday, July 12, 2021

LGC staff have received a number of questions from non-entitlement units (NEUs) on ARPA funding such as when funds will be distributed and for what purposes they can be used.  NCPRO has put together an excellent set of videos to answer these questions and more.  In addition, Kara Millonzi from the SOG has posted a detailed blog that walks you through the steps of determining a unit's lost revenue that qualifies for replacement with ARPA funds, and some other strategies on maximizing flexibility with ARPA spending.  The links for both of these resources can be found on our ARPA Resources webpage, which you can access here.  

ARPA Regional Information Sessions for Local Governments

Thursday, June 24, 2021

An informational session about the American Rescue Plan will be held featuring remarks from Governor Roy Cooper, followed by presentations and Q&A from state agencies and organizations supporting local governments.

This webinar will be offered on two dates, but the information presented will be the same for each session, so please choose the session that works best for your schedule.

June 30 at 6:30pm

OR 

July 1 at 1:00pm

Sessions will be 1.5 hours.

The webinar is free, but registration is required. We encourage all local government elected officials and staff who will be involved with the ARP to attend.

Details and a link to register are available HERE.​​​

Compensated Absences Exposure Draft

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

LGC staff reviewed the proposed guidance contained in the Compensated Absences Exposure Draft published by the GASB Board in February 2021 and provided the comments below to the Board and to the Technical Director. We urge NC local governments to pay attention to the GASB project schedules and provide comments as requested by the Board whenever time and resources permit.   

LGC Staff Response to GASB - Compensated Absences

ARPA Webinar with NCLM, NCACC, and DST

Monday, June 7, 2021

Join the North Carolina League of Municipalities and the NC Association of County Commissioners for a Q&A session with the N.C. State Treasurer's office staff about the ARP funding for local governments. The webinar will discuss the specifics of accounting for American Rescue Plan funds for local governments.

The webinar is free, but registration is required. We encourage any local government staff, especially finance staff, and/or elected officials who will be involved with ARP funding processes to attend.  

WHEN:  June 16, 2021 at 2:00pm
COST:  Free, registration required
DETAILS and REGISTRATION:  Here

New ARPA Guidance and Resources for Local Governments

Monday, June 7, 2021

NEW RESOURCE FROM GFOA ON ESTIMATING LOST REVENUE

For those of you that are members of GFOA, they have a new revenue replacement calculator to assist you in calculating the amount of lost revenue you can replace with ARPA funds.  It is behind their paywall so available only to members. Log in at GFOA.org to check it out.

NEWS REGARDING COBRA PREMIUMS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYERS THAT PROVIDE HEALTHCARE BENEFITS

Included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is a benefit to former employees that are utilizing the COBRA option to obtain healthcare benefits.  From April 1 through September 30, 2021, employers will be responsible for covering the COBRA premiums for most former employees (there are some exceptions). Employers will recoup that cost through reduced employer-share Medicare taxes. Any local government with former employees utilizing COBRA needs to pay attention to these rules. Learn more from Diane Juffras at the SOG here

Help Available for Residents Behind on Rent and/or Utility Bills

Friday, June 4, 2021

The State recently reopened applications for rent and/or utility bill assistance through its HOPE program. Residents can apply for assistance at 888-9ASK-HOPE or at hope.nc.gov in 88 of the 100 counties in North Carolina. The remaining 12 counties have their own rental and utility bill assistance programs and persons interested in getting help in those counties should apply directly to their county agency. The twelve counties operating independent assistance programs are Wake, Durham, Johnston, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Cumberland, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover and Union. 

ARPA Funds Accounting, Auditing, and Budgeting Guidance

Friday, May 28, 2021

While there isn’t a lot of firm guidance available on ARPA funds, some aspects have become a little clearer with the issuance of the Interim Final Rule by the UST on May 11, 2021. SLG staff, as well as SOG and NCPRO staff, have been receiving a number of questions on the accounting, auditing, and budgeting of these funds. This is not intended to be comprehensive guidance but should provide units some guardrails within which to operate until we know more.

Receiving and holding funds:

  • We don’t see the need to open a separate bank account for these funds unless it is the only way the unit has to track the receipts and expenditure of the ARPA funds. If an entity can track both the revenue and expenditures within its accounting system without using a separate bank account, we believe that is acceptable.

Accounting points:

  • Do not comingle ARPA funds with CVR/CARES Act funds!
  • ARPA funds cannot be used to build reserves. If an entity has unexpended ARPA funds at June 30, 2021 (and many of you will), it is likely best to put those funds in a Special Revenue Fund. If the funds will be spent on enterprise activities (utility infrastructure for example) they can be recorded directly in the Enterprise Funds. It is probably not a good idea to record the funds in the General Fund, because it could be construed as attempting to build reserves, and it will skew your revenue and...

2021 Treasurer's Conference

Monday, May 17, 2021

Registration is now open for the 2021 State Treasurer's Auditing, Reporting, and Review Conference. As in 2020, this conference will be provided virtually and will span multiple days - June 15, June 22, and June 24 from 9:30am-12pm each day. Cost is $225 for the entire course. Please see the UNC School of Government website for details and registration.

LGC-129 Reports Issued

Friday, May 7, 2021

Local Government Commission staff has emailed statements of debt service obligations to local governments, as required by North Carolina General Statute 159-35. Finance Officers of units with outstanding debt approved by the LGC should have received an email with a link to the LGC129 Report – Annual Bond and Note Principal and Interest Requirements.

PLEASE NOTE: Only local governments with outstanding debt service approved by the LGC would have received a statement. If your unit has outstanding debt service obligations approved by the LGC and you did not receive this email, or if you received it and had problems with the link or questions about the notification, please send an email explaining the problem and your contact information to LGC129@nctreasurer.com. Staff will follow-up with you and re-send the report as needed.

American Rescue Plan Funding Webinar May 11

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The North Carolina League of Municipalities is hosting an “American Rescue Plan: Accessing Funding” webinar on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, from 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm. The League will be joined by staff from the NC Pandemic Recovery Office for a Q&A about the ARP funding for cities and towns.  The webinar is free, but registration is required. Any municipal staff and/or elected officials who will be involved with ARP funding processes are encouraged to attend. 

Please see details and a link for registration on the League's event page.