Since the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in March, state policymakers have vigorously debated how to spend the nearly $200 billion in stimulus funds. However, few Americans have heard of the $130 billion plans that went to cities and counties.
Despite concerns during the pandemic that an economic downturn will bankrupt local governments, we now know they don’t need this windfall. Local governments actually saw an increase in tax revenue in 2020, thanks to rising property taxes, and they are looking at a bumper tax year in 2021. States should push these cities and counties to return incentive money to taxpayers by allowing citizens to vote. No new expenses.