Deadline for 2020 count nears
The 2020 U.S. Census will come to an end shortly but response rates are lagging for Polk, San Jacinto and Trinity counties indicate those taxpayers could lose out on their fair share of $675 billion in federal funding.
That’s how much money is distributed to local schools, hospitals, public works and other critical programs in local communities. Funding for those entities as well as grants and support for the state and county is determined by population.
Only 42 percent of Polk County households have responded to the census, according to Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy. If those lagging response rates don’t improve, the tax revenue already paid by residents and businesses could be used to support other communities.
Not only does Polk County have reduced access to taxpayer-funded programs, the county has less of a voice in Austin and Washington.
For San Jacinto County, the response rate is at 43.7 percent. Compounding that with San Jac’s 2010 response rate of 48.9 percent, it is urgent that residents visit http://www.2020census.gov right away to maximize the assistance to continue recovery from the recent spate of disasters.
Over in Trinity County, only 37.1 percent of the households have responded. Without swift action, services will likely face cutbacks in future budgets.
Under-counting also hampers efforts to bring new business to the community.
Business owners rely on census results to make decisions, such as where to open new stores, restaurants, factories, or offices, where to expand operations, where to recruit employees, and which products and services to offer.
If you are dreaming of the day Bass Pro Shop opens in Goodrich, help make sure all your friends and family have responded to the census.