AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN PROVISIONS FOR THE VIRGIN ISLANDS:
Direct Payment to the Government of the Virgin Islands
The American Rescue Plan Act provides an estimated $561.4 million in direct federal payments to the Government of the Virgin Islands.
- These funds have broad eligibility, including to respond to the negative economic consequences of the pandemic (such as aid to tourism industry); providing services threatened by declining revenues; making investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure; and support for public entities involved in transport of passengers or cargo, special purpose units of local government, or nonprofits that aid the homeless.
- The American Rescue Plan provides over $138 million to the Virgin Islands to help K-12 schools take the steps recommended by the CDC to ensure students and educators can return to the classroom safely. Schools must reserve at least 20 percent of the funding they receive to make up for lost classroom time, which can be used for initiatives such as summer learning, afterschool programs, or extending the school day.
- ARP also provides an estimated $5,513,000 in higher education relief funding to the Virgin Islands.
The American Rescue Plan Act provides assistance to make child care more affordable for families.
- The Act provides an estimated $38 million in child care block grant funding to the Virgin Islands, including $14 million in Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding and $23 million in child care stabilization grants.
- The territory will also receive an estimated $5 million in Child Care Entitlement to the States (CCES) funding, an existing program that territories had previously been ineligible for.
- The ARP also provides an estimated $1,194,000 in Head Start funding to the Virgin Islands.
Child Tax Credit (CTC)
The American Rescue Plan supplements the earnings of families receiving the Child Tax Credit:
- Credit scope is expanded to children 17 years and younger. Previously it was 16 years and younger. This new expansion gives qualified families another year of credit.
- The credit amount increased from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under age 6, and $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17.
- The Government of the Virgin Islands can provide half of the 2021 credit as advanced payment periodically during the second half of 2021. The remaining half can be claimed when filing a 2021 tax return in early 2022.
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
- Provides a one-year enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit to residents of the Virgin Islands.
- For 2021, the maximum credit amount is increased to $1,502 (from $543) for workers who do not have children at home.
- For 2021, the entire amount of the credit is refundable, and families don’t need to have earned income to receive the credit. This means that a person who owes no taxes would still receive the full credit amount as a "refund" payment.
Emergency Rental Assistance & Foreclosure
- The American Rescue Plan provides over $18 million in emergency rental assistance funding to the Virgin Islands to help individuals and families who need help with paying their rent.
- For additional information on how to apply visit: http://www.vihfa.gov/erap or call the VI Housing Finance Authority at 340-772-4432.
- Additionally, provides an estimated $8 million to the Virgin Islands to help prevent foreclosures.