Massachusetts is set to receive more than $2 billion in direct aid from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the massive COVID relief bill that President Biden made a signature focus of his new administration. The money will be divided up between cities and towns across the state, but how much each community receives varies, according to estimates from the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
The federal aid package includes billions of dollars in direct aid to local governments, money that can be spent to make up for lost revenue, boost local businesses, and fund essential infrastructure expenses.
Funding was distributed based in part on the federal government’s decades-old Community Development Block Grant formula. According to the Massachusetts Municipal Agency, $1.7 billion will be distributed to 37 metropolitan cities with populations over 50,000 across the state, while all other cities and towns will split about $368 million on a per-capita basis. Counties will also receive about $1.3 billion on a per-capita basis, with a majority of this aid going to cities and towns.
This means that, in some cases, assistance is not distributed by need, but by population, meaning some of the state’s hardest-hit communities are receiving less support than their wealthier counterparts. Last week, the Globe reported that the Baker administration said they would target additional funding to Chelsea, Everett, Methuen, and Randolph, four communities that were among the state’s most battered by the pandemic to compensate for the formula’s shortcomings. The administration did not outline how much additional funding would be provided, or when the communities would receive it.
Search through how much each town and city is estimated to receive:
Emma Platoff contributed to this report.