The cost of not filling out your census - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/9/10

The cost of not filling out your census

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By Brittany Pieper - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - You may have received a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau this week telling you the actual Census is on its way to your home, and NewsChannel 11 has learned that there could be consequences if you decide to not fill it out.

The forms should arrive to your home between March 15th and 17th. It is ten questions and should take you about ten minutes to fill out.

The City of Lubbock says the Census is important for West Texas because it determines political representation and federal funding.

"It's estimated that $400 billion a year is allocated from the census numbers, so it's very important that we get everyone counted," says Buckberry.

If you don't fill out the Census and mail it back in, a Census worker will come to your door to try to get the information from you.

If you don't fill out the Census completely, or don't send it in at all, the Government can fine you $100. If you fill it out with false information, they can fine you $500. If you give untrue information with the intent to cause an inaccurate count, they can fine you $1,000 and put you in jail for a year.

However, those working with the Census locally say this is unlikely.

"It's a crime not to complete or return your census form, but it's unrealistic that they're going to enforce it," says David Buckberry, Senior Planner with the City of Lubbock.

Some of the questions on the form include asking for your phone number, race, and if you rent or own your home. Some residents on the South Plains told NewsChannel 11 they feel it is too intrusive.

Coming up tonight on NewsChannel 11 at 10, we'll take a look at what the Constitution says about the Census and some of its surprising history.

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