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Farragut boasts ‘above average’ response to U.S. Census


Farragut ranked higher than the national average for mail-in participation in the 2010 U.S. Census, according to the Census Bureau Web site.

Farragut’s participation came in at 85 percent, well above the national participation rate of 72 percent and above Knox County’s participation rate of 77 percent. Those numbers were tallied April 27, the cut-off day for mailing in census responses.

Now, census workers are visiting citizens who did not mail in their responses, getting information from door-to-door interactions.

Farragut Town Administrator David Smoak encouraged residents to share information with census workers.


“I actually had someone come to my house about a week after I moved in, because whoever was there before me didn’t turn their form in. So I said, ‘I’ll be glad to be counted here,’” Smoak said.

“They came in and it took them five minutes to get all the information. It’s really simple; they aren’t asking a lot of questions this year. It’s just a couple minutes of your time,” he added.

The nationwide deadline for census enumerators to finish knocking on doors is July 10.

According to Michael Gregorio, a public information officer with the Census Bureau, a valid field representative for the Census Bureau will be easily recognizable.

That representative “must present an ID badge which contains a photograph of the field representative, Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date,” Gregorio said in an e-mail.

Very importantly, Gregorio said, citizens will only be asked 10 questions, available for viewing at www.2010.census.gov. The census form includes questions about the number of people living in a home, the race and gender of those people and who owns the home.

There are no questions about social security numbers or other private or confidential information.

“Residents should only answer these questions from the form,” Gregorio said.

According to Smoak, census counts help the Town provide services to its citizens.

“Every person who is counted helps the Town provide services to the community: for parks and rec, growth management, street maintenance and repair,” Smoak said.

“We get roughly $100 per person who is counted in the census back to us from the state of Tennessee. … If we don’t get a good count, we have to make that up somewhere,” he added.

Farragut receives the bulk of its revenue from sales tax, include state-shared sales tax, and a portion from the Hall Income Tax, both of which are partly tabulated in proportion to population.

In other words, if the census reveals Farragut’s population has grown, Farragut will receive a correspondingly higher proportion of tax monies.

“Every person counts,” Smoak said.

 

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