Mar 12, 2021 - Politics

How Tampa Bay will spend its stimulus windfall

Tampa Bay area share of COVID-19 relief

Tampa Bay’s local governments will get millions as part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed into law by President Biden Thursday.

The state of play: While Biden said the money is meant to start "rebuilding the backbone of this country," Axios’ Glen Johnson reports the windfall could trigger monetary melees between state and local governments.

  • City and county officials around Tampa Bay told Axios that they’re still waiting for guidelines as to how they can use the money.

By the numbers: $17.62 billion is going to Florida in total.

  • About $10 billion will go directly to the state, while $7 billion will be split up between local governments.
  • Gov. Ron DeSantis has hinted at putting $2 billion in the state’s unemployment fund, and possibly using some to harden its flood infrastructure, BayNews9 reports.
  • The final say goes to the state legislature, which could start talks on allocating money by next week.

Tampa Bay counties are getting:

  • Hillsborough: $285.5 million
  • Pinellas: $189 million
  • Polk: $140.6 million
  • Pasco: $107.4 million
  • Sarasota: $84 million
  • Manatee: $78 million
  • Hernando: $37.6 million
  • Check out this spreadsheet breaking down how much every municipality in the country is raking in.

The state of play: Sarasota Mayor Hagen Brody told Axios the money will help with COVID-related budget losses from the performing arts to parking and will help fuel manpower, equipment and other costs to have more vaccine events.

The bottom line: Brody wants to get the city back to normal, or as close as possible, by July 4.

"That’s the date in my mind that I want to be if not firing on all cylinders at least returning to some sense of normalcy. This money will definitely help us bridge that period.
"It kind of gives us a little more flexibility to think outside the box of how we can get more people vaccinated, and more people comfortable to return back to normal."

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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