TANF-ACF-PI-2009-04 (Use of Federal TANF funds to help meet the cost sharing requirement under the Jobs Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Formula Grant Program)
State agencies and Tribes administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program under title IV-A of the Social Security Act (Act), and other interested parties.
Use of Federal TANF funds to help meet the cost sharing requirement under the Jobs Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Formula Grant Program
Section 404(k) of the Social Security Act, section 3037 of the Transportation and Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) (Public Law 105-178, enacted June 9, 1998), The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act (SAFETEA-LU) (Public Law 109-59, enacted August 10, 2005), 49 USC 5316, 45 CFR 92.41(a)(1), TANF-ACF-PA-00-2.
Applicability of Section 404(k) of the Act (Limitations on Use of Grant for Matching Under Certain Federal Transportation Program).
The JARC program was originally enacted via section 3037 of TEA-21 and is administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) within the U.S. Department of Transportation. During fiscal years 2002 through 2005, Congress also earmarked specific projects and recipients to receive section 3037 JARC funding. These congressionally designated projects and recipients were included in the conference reports that accompanied the annual appropriation acts. Congress directed FTA to honor these designations through specific statutory language, stating that “notwithstanding any other provision of law, projects and activities designated [in the conference reports] shall be eligible for funding” under the terms and conditions of section 3037 of TEA-21.
SAFETEA-LU, enacted on August 10, 2005, continued the JARC program by adding the program to the U.S. Code at 49 U.S.C. 5316. SAFETEA-LU also repealed section 3037 of TEA 21, the original placement of the JARC program, effective October 1, 2005. Nevertheless, unless and until Congress decides differently, the specific congressionally designated projects continue to be eligible to receive their remaining unobligated JARC funding allocations under section 3037 of TEA-21. Please refer to the attached for a list of the congressionally designated projects. These are the only projects remaining under the terms and conditions of section 3037 of TEA-21.
The JARC program has always had a cost sharing requirement. The JARC program statute, under former section 3037 of TEA-21 and currently under 49 U.S.C. 5316(h), expressly allow the use of Federal funds from other programs (other than the Department of Transportation) to help meet the cost-sharing requirement. Specifically, section 5316(h)(3)(B) states that “amounts appropriated to or made available to a department or agency of the Government (other than the Department of Transportation) that are eligible to be expended for transportation” may be used to help pay for the remainder of net project costs.
However, section 404(k) of the Act limits the manner and amount of Federal TANF funds that States may use to “match funds made available under section 3037 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century.” (Section 404(k) was added to the Social Security Act through the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998, enacted on July 16, 1998 (Public Law 105-200).)
Section 404(k) of the Act limits the manner and amount of Federal TANF funds that may be used to help meet the cost-sharing requirement of a section 3037 JARC project. For example, section 404(k)(2) limits the total amount of Federal TANF funds that a State may use toward the JARC cost-sharing requirement for a fiscal year to the difference between 30 percent of the State’s Federal TANF grant amount and the amount of Federal TANF funds that the State transfers to the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Social Services Block Grant programs during that fiscal year. Also, section 404(k)(3) allows an exception to the definition of assistance for individuals receiving transportation services through a JARC project under section 3037 of TEA-21. When the State has used Federal TANF funds to help meet the cost-sharing requirement of the project, and TANF-funded transportation benefit is the only form of assistance provided to the individual for a month, then it is not considered “assistance” for purposes of the TANF programmatic requirements.
Section 404(k) of the Act only pertains to Federal TANF funds used by a State to help meet the cost-sharing requirement of a project designated by Congress under section 3037 of TEA-21 that is operating in the State. These congressionally designated projects are the only JARC-funded projects that continue to operate under the terms and conditions of section 3037 of TEA-21.
Section 404(k) of the Act does not apply to the use of Federal TANF funds to help meet the cost sharing requirement of a recipient of JARC transportation funds provided under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 5316. States may use an allocable portion of Federal TANF funds to help meet the JARC program’s cost sharing requirement, as long as the State uses the funds for allowable costs for or on behalf of TANF clientele. The annual dollar limit in section 404(k)(2) does not apply. Any Federal TANF funds used to provide services to families who are not employed constitute assistance, per the TANF regulations at 45 CFR 263.31(a)(3). The exception in 404(k)(3) does not apply.
(Per section 409(a)(7)(B)(iv)(IV) of the Act and the TANF regulations at 45 CFR 263.6(c), a State may not claim toward its TANF maintenance-of-effort requirement any State expenditures it makes to help meet the cost-sharing requirement of a recipient of JARC transportation funds.)
Inquiries should be directed to the appropriate Regional TANF Program Manager.
Office of Family Assistance