ARPA Application Instructions and Calculating the Top-Line Budget

July 14, 2021

Intended Audience: Non-Entitlement units of local governments completing an application for Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund payments under ARPA.


On July 7, the Michigan Department of Treasury announced that the online filing process in the ELITE system is now open. This will be used whether requesting or declining funds under Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF).

To assist local units with completing the online submission, the state Treasury Department has provided the following video instructions along with our written instructions.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the video and read the written instructions for additional guidance through the CLFRF process. 

Additionally, since opening the application process, we have received several questions asking for additional clarification on how to calculate the top-line budget. We hope that this e-mail helps to answer many of these questions.

First, please review Numbered Letter 2021-5 that defines how to calculate the top-line budget, if you have not done so already

  • For funds with a budget adopted by your governing body (e.g., General fund), one would use the adopted budget and any budget amendments as of January 27th, 2020. 
    • In other words, you are using what you had budgeted to spend in those funds, not actual expenditures.
    • For example, if you have a fiscal year that started on October 1st, 2019, for fiscal year 2020, would use this governing body-approved budget and approved budget amendments for these funds through January 27th, 2020.
  • For funds that do not require a budget to be adopted, nor was one adopted, one will use the actual expenses from the last audit prior to January 27, 2020.
    • In most cases, this will be the 2019 audit or, in some cases, the 2018 audit if you have a biennial audit. 
    • An example of this might be a Proprietary fund, such as a Sewer fund (e.g., an enterprise fund), that does not require budgets to be adopted (but it is a best practice to do so).
  • The amounts for each fund are added together to reach the top-line budget total.

For example, for a General Fund, one will use what was budgeted as of January 27th, 2020. If the local unit also has a Sewer fund, one would use the audited actual numbers just for that fund. Both would be added together to calculate the top-line budget. 

The amount that should be reported is just one total number summarizing the grand total for all funds for the top-line budget calculation. Local units do not need to upload or provide additional information to Michigan Treasury. Please note when the local unit completes the first reporting to the US Treasury in October, actual budget and audit documents validating the top-line budget will be filed with US Treasury. Please review US Treasury Compliance and Reporting Guidance

For additional information, please visit www.michigan.gov/ARPA, and for questions, please e-mail us at Treas-ARPA@michigan.gov.