MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Friday, New Hampshire’s members of the U.S. House of Representatives and several local officials across New Hampshire sent a letter to House leadership for more funding to local governments such as Manchester’s in the next COVID-19 response package.
The initial aid package, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, offered fiscal assistance to municipalities with more than 500,000 people or for states who could then filter that money to local municipalities. However, even that funding has also come with limitations.
With ongoing layoffs tied to the pandemic impacting the ability of local residents and businesses to pay property tax bills as well as reduced economic input limiting other government revenue, the City of Manchester and other local governments are faced with hard choices.
Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig appreciated the request for greater federal assistance to reach the local level from Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) and Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster (NH-01).
“The CARES Act provision prohibiting small and medium-sized cities from accessing aid means communities like Manchester are unable to directly receive federal funding during this crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a large strain on our city budget, and with no sales or income tax revenue in New Hampshire, we’re relying solely on diminished city revenues to provide essential services to our community at this time,” said Craig. “Gaining access to additional federal funding would provide massive relief to our community and our taxpayers, and I’m grateful for Congressman Pappas’s leadership in calling on Congress to include robust support for local governments in future federal legislation.”
In addition to Pappas, Kuster and Craig, the letter was signed by the mayor of every city in New Hampshire, every county commissioner in New Hampshire and officials from the New Hampshire towns of Albany, Alton, Bedford, Bristol, Conway, Danbury, Derry, Enfield, Hanover, Litchfield, Littleton, Londonderry, Lyndeborough, Milford, Newmarket, Pembroke, Somersworth, Swanzey, Walpole and Webster.
A full copy of the letter can be found here.