Only half of Texas respond to the census - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/30/10

Only half of Texas respond to the census

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Census Bureau announced on Tuesday that Texas has some of the lowest rates of people mailing in their 2010 Census forms, but numbers show Lubbock County is right on track with the national average.

A new tracking device shows Lubbock County participation is at 49 percent. That's above the state average and almost equal to the national average of 50 percent.

Lubbock residents still have a few days left to mail in the form but if you don't, a census taker will visit your home costing taxpayers around $60 rather than the 42 cents to mail it in.

Lubbock Census Committee Vice Chairman John Steinmetz says if people in our community fail to be counted,  Lubbock's economy loses money. "For every citizen that isn't counted in Lubbock County over the next ten years we're giving up approximately $12,000," said Steinmetz.

That's thousands of dollars going toward grants for hospitals, education, public works projects, and other social improvements. "This is really going to affect our children, our future, because its going to be another ten years before we have the opportunity to go out and have grants come into Lubbock," said Steinmetz.

Failing to fill out the form can bring fines, but it also hurts Lubbock's representation in Washington. Congressional seats are allocated according to population, and the populations is counted by the census. "This is a unique opportunity to prove we've grown. We've done well for our community, and we can't afford to lose congressional seats," said Steinmetz.

Those quick ten minutes to fill out the form could mean millions saved. For every 1% the national average raises for people mailing in their completed census, taxpayers save around 85-million dollars. "There is absolutely no reason not to complete a ten minute, ten question document that will effect our future going forward for the next ten years," said Steinmetz.

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