Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Program Income FAQs
- What is program income? Is it all of the costs we charge to the political parties and local political subdivisions.
Not necessarily. Any revenues that can be attributed to HAVA-funded activities are considered program income. For example, fees collected by the county that are associated with the equipment, including usage fees, transportation costs, programming, etc. should be reported as program income.
Revenues that do not need to be reported include election services that would have been charged to a local entity whether or not that local entity leased, rented, or otherwise contracted for HAVA-supported goods or services (e.g., poll workers). When in doubt, report it!
- What is the difference between gross program income and net income?
Gross program income includes all fees collected by the county as a result of grant funded-activities. Net program income factors in the deduction of incidental costs incurred by the county to provide the goods or services (i.e., revenue less expenses).
- Why are we reporting gross program income instead of actual income retained by the county (net income)? Why should we report fees that were charged for actual expenses?
Although the SOS did get permission from the federal government to deduct incidental costs from gross program income, the SOS has determined that reporting gross program income requires less state and local resources and carries less risk?
- Can the state or federal government take the reported program income away from the county?
No. The legislature is statutorily prohibited from taking the funds, and the federal government has already stated in various communications, including a federal audit of Texas’ administration of the HAVA funds, that the counties can retain the funding to further the objectives of HAVA.
- Are the grant funds we received from SOS considered program income?
- Why don’t I have an option to report program income earned with Title I, Section 102 funds?
If your county did not use a punch card or lever voting system during the 2000 federal election, then you did not receive Title I, Section 102 funds and that portion of the program income reporting form is inactive for your county.
- What if additional funds beyond HAVA were used to acquire a HAVA-compliant voting system? Should program income earned from the non-HAVA portion be reported?
Ideally, counties should track which pieces of equipment were HAVA-funded that were leased, rented, or otherwise contracted for; however, we have told the federal government that many of the acquisitions and payment of the HAVA-compliant voting systems occurred retroactively, consistent with the provisions of HAVA. Consequently, it is feasible that some counties cannot reasonably determine which pieces of equipment were HAVA-funded and which were not.
Accordingly, those counties might apply a pro-rata share to each piece of equipment when calculating program income if records do not indicate which items were HAVA-funded. We believe this still properly accounts for the grant-attributable program income.
- Who reports the program income for the county?
The county financial officer (i.e., the county treasurer or auditor, depending on the county).
- Where is the program income reported?
Through the HAVA online grant system where the budgets for the voting system were entered and the HAVA funds were subsequently drawn down by the county.
- How long do we have to report program income?
Program income must be reported to the SOS on an annual basis until all of the HAVA funds have been expended by the state.
- When are the program income reports due?
The SOS will need all of the data submitted by the county no later than 30 days after the federal fiscal year end, which is September 30, each year until the state expends all of the HAVA funds.
- Should the 10% “general supervision fee” be reported as program income?
Yes. The percentage of the fees collected that are attributable to HAVA-funded activities should be applied to the general supervision fee that is collected, assuming the general supervision fee was applied to all of the charges. For example, if the county charged $100,000 in election-related fees and applied the 10% general supervision fee to the entire amount, and the HAVA-funded activities accounted for 80% of the $100,000, then $8,000 of the $10,000 general supervision fee should be considered program income.
- Who can I contact at the SOS if I have questions?
If you need assistance, or if you have questions, please contact Dan Glotzer at 512-463-9861 — we are here to help you, to answer questions, and to make this process as easy as possible.