Local government ARPA investment tracker launched to detail American Rescue Plan Act funding

Brookings Metro, the National League of Cities (NLC), and the National Association of Counties (NACo) have partnered to launch the Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker, an online resource that compiles information from local governments to provide a detailed picture of the how major cities and counties are deploying American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) dollars.

The Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker currently captures stimulus plan data from 41 major cities, 104 major counties and seven consolidated city-counties, collectively representing $18.4 billion in planned investments. Additionally, the Tracker ranks over 2,300 SLFRF-supported projects in these communities at two levels:

  • Seven global expense groups (community assistance, economic and workforce development, government operations, housing, infrastructure, public health and public safety)
  • More than 40 expense sub-groups that provide more details on the intended use of the funds

The Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker adds to other important efforts to understand the local implementation of ARPA and will be updated as more information becomes available from major city governments and counties.

Among the first analyzes of data from the Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker, the research teams find:

Major cities and counties have planned projects representing about half of their total flex dollar allocation. Combined, the 152 major cities and counties on our Tracker have set aside funds for more than 2,300 named projects. These projects collectively represent $18.4 billion in planned investments, just under half of the total SLFRF allocation for these cities and counties.

A significant portion of the funding is used to replace lost revenue. While major cities and counties are planning investments in a host of essential services, supports and projects, they are devoting the bulk of their funds to government operations. The share of FRSLF dollars spent on government operations is expected to decline as stabilization priorities give way to larger-scale, longer-term efforts.

Project types reflect local government functions and economic circumstances. Many counties are using their funds to strengthen local health services and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, while many cities are using the funds to increase services and supports for young people negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll learn even more about how major cities and counties are putting their SLFRF money to work. With such a large and flexible pool of resources available to city and county authorities across the country, as well as the urgent needs the pandemic has created or exposed, many people will follow local decisions with great interest. The Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker provides a window into a crucial, generational experience of shared governance in the United States.

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