COVID-19 relief aid headed to Ohio; Here’s what your community will receive

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The village of Bloomdale is getting stimulus money from the American Rescue Plan, as are the Ohio villages of Bloomingburg, Bloomingdale and Bloomville.

Billions of dollars are being allocated throughout Ohio as part of the COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden a week ago. 

There are billions headed the state government’s way, and billions more going to Ohio’s biggest cities and tiniest villages. Cleveland tops the list with more than $500 million going to the Forest City, while 11 incorporated villages (each with populations of 75 or fewer residents) are set to receive an estimated $10,000 apiece.

The money is generally being allocated according to population. The funding model separates the state’s “metro cities” from other incorporated cities and villages.

You can search these charts to see how much your community is estimated to receive:

An additional $2.3 billion is being distributed among Ohio’s 88 counties:

This local government spending is meant to help communities mitigate any budget losses suffered during the pandemic. The funding also serves as a stimulus to help them navigate the years ahead, according to an analysis of the bill from the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Money is able to be spent on COVID-19 needs; investments in local small businesses and nonprofits; offering premium pay to local “essential workers”; and infrastructure projects, such as water, sewer and broadband improvements.

There are some limits on what the money can be used for: Relief dollars cannot go toward funding pensions or to pay for tax cuts.

Half of the money is being distributed later this spring and the other half will be allocated a year from now. Funding for the non-metro communities is capped at 75% of their respective local budgets.

Ohio

  • State Government: $5.6 billion
  • Metro Cities: $2.2 billion
  • Non-counties: $815 million
  • Counties: $2.2 billion

In total, the American Rescue Plan allocates $350 billion total for states, localities, tribes and territories throughout the United States.

Along with local government spending, the package also includes $1,400 in direct payments to eligible citizens; funding for vaccine distribution; an expansion of the child tax credit; an extension of unemployment benefits; funding for K-12 and higher education; funding for emergency rental assistance; and other provisions. 

Democrats had hoped to include a national minimum wage hike to $15 per hour in the bill, but this provision did not abide by U.S. Senate budget rules and thus was taken out.

In the end, the package was passed by Congress with only Democratic Party support. Republicans unanimously opposed the bill, including the 12 U.S. Representatives and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.

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