Taking the census survey critical to city’s funding

La Crosse officials urge everyone to complete the census survey

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Taking the census survey is more important than some may think.

Besides getting a good understanding of the population, a lot of money is at stake.

The start of the new decade means everyone will be getting a friendly reminder.

“March 12, they can start expecting to get their notifications in the mail,” city of La Crosse senior planner Tim Acklin said. “It’s a letter from the Census Bureau.”

This time around, the Census Bureau is ensuring the survey is easier to take than ever before.

“The hope for the Census Bureau is that this is kind of the new way they’re doing it this year, is it’s going to be online, or by mail, or by phone,” Acklin said.

So if you like your privacy, Acklin recommends getting the survey done sooner rather than later.

“If nobody responds to either one of those, is where the census workers come in and they’ll be the ones knocking on the door and getting the count that way,” Acklin said.

Taking the survey is critical.

“It helps the federal government determine what sort of funding is distributed out to every state,” Acklin said.

$675 billion of federal funding is shared to every U.S. state each year.

According to a study done by George Washington University, Wisconsin received $12.6 billion worth of federal funding from the 2010 census.

“That can be used for schools, roads, clinics, that nature,” Acklin said. “It helps us know what we need to plan for as a city as well.”

Not taking the survey could individuals to pay extra out of their pockets.

“You know, I don’t want to say taxes will go up,” Acklin said. “That’s all for the lawmakers to decide. But I mean, it just means that you have to stretch the dollar ever further, and things might not get funded that you want.”

Acklin says taking the census survey is “only gonna help.”

“It only takes 15, 20 minutes of your time to do that.”

Because taking the survey only benefits everyone.

Officials say the Census Bureau still needs workers nationwide and locally.

Wisconsin still needs about 7,600 workers.

La Crosse County is short by more than 1,000 applicants.

Workers earn between $17-$24 an hour depending on the county.

The Bureau is accepting applications through May. People can register on the Census Bureau’s website.