News23ABC In-Depth


How will the American Rescue Plan benefit Kern County?

So what can we expect here in Kern County?
Posted: 5:01 PM, Jun 08, 2021
Updated: 2021-06-08 20:30:08-04
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — As the nation recovers from COVID-19 President Joe Biden plans to shell out nearly $2 trillion in aid for the American people. 23ABC takes an in-depth look at what the additional funding could mean for Kern County.

The American Rescue Plan has an estimated price tag of $1.9 trillion. Some of the main selling points according to the Biden Administration are child tax credits, employee retention programs, and increased unemployment compensation. All this comes from the treasury department.

Some Americans have already received assistance from the plan through $1,400 per person checks. It also increased the Child Tax Credit, Earned-Income Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. It also extended unemployment benefits until September 6th with a weekly supplemental benefit of $300 on top of the regular $400 benefit. However, some states ended the benefits early.

So what can we expect here in Kern County?

At the start of the pandemic, Kern County was given millions of dollars in CARES Act funding to help keep the economy afloat. Now that conditions are improving the county says more funding is on the way.

"In that $350 billion has been made available to state and local governments... About $65.1 billion has been provided to counties and an additional $65.1 billion that's provided to cities," explained Kern County Chief Operating Officer Jim Servis. "So through this local $350 billion every state, every county, every city in the nation is getting funding. So unlike the CARES Act where it was very targeted to local jurisdictions all of those areas are also getting funding from the federal government."

The United States Department of the Treasury Face Sheet breaks it down as such:

  • $195 billion for states, (a minimum of $500 million for each State);
  • $130 billion for local governments (a minimum of $1.25 billion per state is provided by the statute inclusive of the amounts allocated to local governments within the state);
  • $20 billion for tribal governments; and
  • $4.5 billion for territories

"The Rescue Plan will provide needed relief to state, local, and Tribal governments to enable them to continue to support the public health response and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable economic recovery. In addition to helping these governments address the revenue losses they have experienced as a result of the crisis, it will help them cover the costs incurred due responding to the public health emergency and provide support for a recovery – including through assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, aid to impacted industries, and support for essential workers. It will also provide resources for state, local, and Tribal governments to invest in infrastructure, including water, sewer, and broadband services."
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Servis says Kern County is set to receive roughly $312 million in funding. About $175 million is put aside for county officials to spend on county-wide needs. The rest of the money is reserved for individual cities.

  • Allocation is based on population so the majority of that funding is reserved for Bakersfield. The city is getting about $94 million.
  • Delano is the second most populous city and its estimated funding is roughly $14 million.
  • Ridgecrest and Wasco are likely to receive about $5 million each.
  • Maricopa is the smallest city in Kern and it's estimated the area will get about $224,000.

Keep in mind, all of these numbers are estimates.