Governor Ducey Shorted Smaller Communities and Rural Counties Approx $395 million in COVID-19 Aid Compared to Big Cities
This is a complicated story with lots of numbers. The short answer is that Governor Ducey did not use the funding formula that was recommended in the federal CARES Act passed into law in March of this year. Larger cities and counties, in Arizona this included Mesa, Phoenix, and Tucson got direct funding from the U.S. Treasury in the amount of $174 per resident. Maricopa and Pima counties got respectively $1,197 and $237 per resident in the unincorporated areas of their county.
Smaller cities and counties were to get disbursements of mandated CARES funds by their governors. According to Arizona Republic analysis Governor Ducey distributed significantly less than the three largest cities received and less than was recommended by U.S. Treasury guidelines.
Smaller cities got approximately $115 per resident compared to the $174 per resident directly disbursed to Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson. The reason: $395 million was held back to go into the state general fund. Again rural Arizona was short-changed by the governor and powers up in Phoenix. These additional funds that should have been given to smaller cities, communities and the 13 other counties in Arizona (see table below) were substantial. The challenge that all levels of government have because of the pandemic mean that there is a need for every additional dollar available.
My question is: have we heard anything from our LD14 elected officials? Why the silence? Are you more interested in balancing the general fund budget on the backs of rural residents so you can give tax breaks to corporate interests than making sure the people of your district get all the government services they deserve?
Partial list of smaller cities and the the four counties that make up Arizona Legislative District 14 with the amount of funds disbursed by the state and the amount that they should have received based on the formula in the CARES Act.
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