COVID-19 Fiscal Relief for Special Districts

The 2021 Budget Act appropriated $100 million one-time General Fund to provide fiscal relief to independent special districts for revenue losses and or unanticipated costs incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Funds are reserved for districts that have not received other forms of COVID-19 fiscal relief directly from the state or federal government.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply for an allocation, special districts must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must be designated as an independent special district by the State Controller’s Office (SCO); and
  2. Have not received other forms of COVID-19 fiscal relief directly from the state or federal government.

The receipt of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursements or the intent to apply for FEMA reimbursements does not disqualify a special district from applying. However, if a special district intends to apply for the California Arrearage Payment Program or the California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Program, the special district is ineligible to apply for these funds.

Allocation Methodology

Finance, in consultation with the California Special Districts Association (CSDA), developed a methodology to allocate these funds to independent special districts. Each qualifying district that applies will receive an allocation based on its proportionate share of the total unanticipated costs and revenue losses incurred by all districts during the following eligible periods:

  • Revenue Losses—Revenue losses, from all fund sources, incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency during the 2020-21 state fiscal year, compared to the revenue from all fund sources in the 2018-19 state fiscal year (July 1 through June 30—which serves as the base period to which the revenues will be compared).
  • Unanticipated Costs—Unanticipated costs incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency during the period starting March 4, 2020 and ending June 15, 2021. This aligns with similar federal fiscal reporting timeframes.

Application Process – Applications due October 29

The state developed a secure web form to facilitate the application process.

To access web form:  https://esd.dof.ca.gov/cfrsd/special-district

The web form is optimized for the Google Chrome browser and may not work with other browsers.

Eligible special districts must use the web form to provide the following required information:

  • 2018-19 revenue from all fund sources
  • 2020-21 revenue from all fund sources
  • Unanticipated costs incurred between March 4, 2020 and June 15, 2021
  • Costs eligible for FEMA reimbursements incurred between March 4, 2020 and June 15, 2021
  • Contact information for an authorized representative, the person submitting the application, and an alternate contact

Applications open on October 1, 2021 and must be submitted by 5:00 PM, October 29, 2021.

Disbursement Timeline

Finance will review all applications and calculate the allocations by the first week of November. The allocations will be shared with the SCO, who will then disburse the funds to the county auditor-controllers by the second week of December. Each county auditor controller must allocate the funds to the independent special districts in their county, within 30 days of receipt of funding from the SCO.

Disbursement Timeline*

* Updated on 12/15/21. Actual dates of timeline may vary.
Event Date
Submit final allocations to SCO Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Submit final allocations to county auditor-controllers Thursday, December 9, 2021
SCO disburses payments to county auditor-controllers Wednesday, December 15, 2021
County auditor-controllers disburse payments within 30 days of receipt of funding Friday, January 14, 2022

Additional Resources

For Questions

For general questions, please email COVIDfund@csda.net.

For web portal or disbursement questions, please email SDrelief@dof.ca.gov.