Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

March 27, 2010

Census numbers mean dollars for Cherokee County


Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — We’ve all got them — they arrived in our mailboxes a couple of weeks ago.

And while census forms may seem like a hassle, they’re much more important then you think.

Money sent to Cherokee County by the federal government for roads, schools, hospitals, and many other services is determined by how many people live here.

The more people counted, the more money we get.

And even though the census employees will come and knock on your door in the fall if you don’t mail in your census information, for every 1 percent increase in the number of people who go ahead an send the information in now, the U.S. saves $80 to $90 million dollars.

That’s a lot of money, considering we, the taxpayers, will ultimately foot the bill.

And although it may seem like the census is just another way for “Big Brother” to keep an eye on you, information gathered via the census is safe. By law, the Census Bureau is not allowed to share your information with anyone — not even the FBI or the CIA. If they do, they can face a $250,000 fine, and the individual who releases your information can go to prison for up to five years.

Our population numbers, determined by the census, also help determine in which district we will be for U.S. Congress representation. So answering your census is another way to let your voice be heard.

That simple 10-question form, that shouldn’t take longer than about 10 minutes to fill out, may seem like a nuisance, but it can bring so much to our county.

Make time today to finish it.