County, local governments to get easier access to federal emergency relief funding

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

HELENA – Montana county and local governments are now not required to implement a two-mill emergency levy to access funds coming to the state for federal coronavirus relief.

Gov. Steve Bullock announced the change April 7 for faster access to funds provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Local and county governments are integral to the response to COVID-19,” Bullock said. “Montana taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay a penalty to allow local and county governments to receive the aid passed by Congress to respond to the unprecedented economic situation caused by COVID-19.”

Bullock's directive will waive the current statutory requirement that requires local and county governments to use all available emergency levies before they are able to access state emergency or disaster funding.

The federal CARES Act, signed into law March 27, is expected to bring $1.25 billion into the state to support the response to COVID-19.