Local Government Aid Estimates for the American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. ARPA provides $1.9 trillion in economic relief through direct payments (stimulus checks), expanded child tax credits and unemployment benefits, small business loans, and aid to local and state governments.

ARPA allocates $350 billion in aid for state and local governments. This is in addition to the aid previously allocated under prior coronavirus relief efforts (the CARES Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act). Unlike aid in the previous supplemental act, aid in ARPA is largely unrestricted.

How can the funds be used?

  • Respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by addressing its economic effects, including aid to households, small businesses, nonprofits, and industries such as tourism and hospitality;
  • Provide premium pay to essential employees or grants to their employers. Premium pay cannot exceed $13 per hour or $25,000 per worker extra;
  • Provide government services affected by a revenue reduction resulting from COVID-19; and/or
  • Make necessary investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

Both state and local governments are required to submit to Treasury a certification from the governor or other authorized officer of the state attesting that the state, or local government, needs federal assistance for the purposes above.

How much is the funding?

  • Counties will receive $198 per resident
  • Cities greater than 50,000 residents will receive an average of $200 to $300 per resident (the funding formula for this category takes into account city need)
  • Cities with fewer than 50,000 residents will receive ~$240 per resident

For comparison, in a typical year, the federal government disburses about $250 per resident in aid to all local governments serving that resident (e.g., city, county), not including federal pass-through education aid. ARPA aid more than doubles that amount.1

When will the funds come?

Half the funds will be paid by May 10. The other half will be paid no sooner than 12 months later (May 10, 2022).


ARPA Aid Estimates for 200 Largest Cities

Use the table below to look up the aid estimates for your city. Remember the aid amount below will come in two payments. If your city is not listed here, you can find the full aid estimates for all municipalities in the U.S. below. Senate aid estimates are presented as well to provide a useful range, see below for details.


ARPA Aid Estimates for 200 Largest Counties

Use the table below to look up the aid estimates for your county. Remember the aid amount below will come in two payments. If your county is not listed here, you can find the full aid estimates for all counties in the U.S. below. Senate aid estimates are presented as well to provide a useful range, see below for details.


Get Full Estimates Here

Civilytics is publishing aid estimates for 20,000+ local governments in a searchable database available as a public Google Sheet. Access this free resource below:

City Aid Estimates

County Aid Estimates

Get the original estimates from the US Senate.

Methodology

Senate Aid Estimate Differences

Civilytics’ aid estimates differ from the estimates published by the US Senate on 3/8/2021 in several important ways:

  • Civilytics uses the ACS’s 5-year population estimates, which are the most reliable. It is not clear which population estimates the Senate used.

  • Civilytics uses a more inclusive definition of “metropolitan cities” that identifies cities eligible for aid that were not identified in the Senate estimates)

  • Civilytics is publishing provisional aid estimates for all other towns and municipalities with more than 10 residents. The Senate projections acknowledge that they "do not include villages or other sublocal entities that may also qualify for funding

  • The Senate estimates include county funding adjustments for “urban counties” but these adjustments are not described and the definitions of urban counties are not identified. Civilytics’ estimates are a more straightforward per capita based on the most accurate current county population estimates.

Civilytics Full Methodology

Civilytics’ strives to provide communities with the most accurate estimates of their expected aid payments possible. Get the full details on Civilytics’ methodology in the ARPA Aid Estimate Manual below. All funding is still pending final rules and regulations from the U.S. Treasury and state governments.

Civilytics ARPA Local Aid Estimate Methodology

Civilytics will make at least one update to the data when there is further guidance on which municipalities will be eligible under each state’s rules and classification for incorporated places. That update will be noted here when it is completed in early April 2021.


  1. Data from 2017 Fiscally Standardized Cities database and authors’ calculation. See also Chernick, Howard, David Copeland, and Andrew Reschovsky. 2020. “The Fiscal Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cities: An Initial Assessment,” National Tax Journal 73, No. 3, (September): 699-732)↩︎

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Jared Knowles
President

Founder and President of Civilytics Consulting LLC.