Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Census Day!

April 1, 2010 is Census Day. This is the reference date for the Census and a reminder date to complete and mail in Census forms.

As you probably know by now, the Census is used to enumerate the population for apportionment of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Kansas legislature. In other words, filling out your form will help insure that you are represented in Washington and Topeka.

Census data is also used to apportion federal funds. Over 400 billion dollars each year are distributed based on Census data. For Kansas, this comes to a little over $1,000 per person per year. Keep in mind these are not handouts from D.C., these are your tax dollars being spent in your state.

If you have not received a Census form, or you simply need a new one, there are Census Be Counted and Questionnaire Assistance Centers all over Kansas. Use this map to find one near you:

You can also use the map to track response rates. As of today, March 31, Kansas has a 56% response rate, compared to the 50% rate of the nation as a whole.

So, what happens if you don’t send in your form? The Census will send an enumerator to your house. Sound expensive, with the enumerator’s salary, mileage reimbursement . . . it adds up. It is significantly cheaper (that is, fewer of your tax dollars) to complete the form and mail it in.

If someone knocks on your door saying they are from the Census Bureau, how can you tell if they are the real deal? First, they will have an official Census Bureau ID. Second, they will never ask to come inside your home. If you are still not convinced, call the Census Bureau hotline: 866-872-6868.

Article contact: Peter Haxton

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