Connecting state and local government leaders
The Treasury Department will begin distributing $350 billion in state and local pandemic recovery money this month. Funding for individual localities ranges widely between places, from thousands of dollars up into the billions.
The roughly $350 billion pandemic recovery program for state and local governments that the Treasury Department officially launched on Monday will funnel money to over 4,000 cities and counties all across the country. Among the biggest recipients of those funds will be eight cities and eight counties, each in line to receive more than a half-billion dollars.
New York, the nation’s most populous city, tops the list with about $4.3 billion on the way, according to allocation information published by the Treasury Department. Los Angeles County is slated for a $1.9 billion infusion and the city of Los Angeles will get about $1.3 billion. Chicago is poised to see more than $1.9 billion and surrounding Cook County, Illinois just over $1 billion.
The cities and counties atop this list are some of the nation’s largest localities.
And the number of citizens in those places and the size of their typical budgets helps to put the federal awards into context. For instance, New York City has upwards of 8.3 million residents and its fiscal 2021 budget was around $88 billion. Los Angeles County’s fiscal 2020-21 budget was nearly $35 billion and there are about 10 million people living there.
The eight cities with the largest payments are:
- New York: $4,259,566,740
- Chicago: $1,886,591,388
- Los Angeles: $1,278,900,928
- Philadelphia: $1,087,606,822
- Detroit: $826,675,290
- Houston: $607,769,139
- Baltimore: $525,891,651
- Cleveland: $511,721,590
The top eight counties are:
- Los Angeles County, California: $1,949,978,847
- Cook County, Illinois: $1,000,372,385
- Harris County, Texas: $915,508,128
- Maricopa County, Arizona: $871,239,088
- San Diego County, California: $648,431,468
- Orange County, California: $616,840,943
- Miami-Dade County, Florida: $527,733,745
- Dallas County, Texas: $511,918,088
The state and local government aid program is part of the American Rescue Plan, a law that President Biden signed in March as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of $65.1 billion was allocated to about 3,200 counties, with amounts for individual places based largely on their populations—counties with more people will receive more money. But there are some caveats within this framework, which resulted in some urban counties getting funding bumped up further and that also affected consolidated city-county governments.
For about 1,100 “metropolitan cities,” the law provides $45.6 billion. This money is getting divided using a modified formula for the federal Community Development Block Grant program, which takes into consideration factors like poverty, population size and housing issues.
The city and county funding is scheduled to be paid in two equal installments, with the first this month and another a year later. Governments have until the end of 2024 to use the money.
States, along with Washington, D.C., will receive $195 billion of the $350 billion total. The law also provides $19.5 billion for smaller, “non-entitlement” municipalities. That money will be routed through states for distribution and further guidance on it is expected next week. Tribal governments ($20 billion) and territories ($4.5 billion) will receive money as well.
Big cities and counties are seeing large sums of cash from the relief program. But Treasury will be spreading the money far and wide. Nearly 150 cities will receive $50 million or more, including places like Fort Wayne, Indiana ($50.8 million) and Omaha, Nebraska ($112 million).
The smallest metropolitan city award is $1.2 million for Gulf Shores, Alabama.
For counties, the awards get down to amounts in the thousands of dollars for places like Treasure County, Montana ($135,190) or Kalawao County, Hawaii ($16,704). In 2019, those counties had populations of about 700 and 86, respectively, according to Census Bureau data.
More from the Treasury Department about the allocations and the guidance the department released on Monday can be found here.
Route Fifty’s coverage of the new guidance can be found here.
Bill Lucia is a senior editor for Route Fifty and is based in Olympia, Washington.