Augusta could lose up to $1 billion in federal funds due to low Census response

CSRA News

Augusta, GA (WJBF)- The deadline to fill out your census form is fast approaching.

The Census is not just about counting people.  There are financial repercussions for individual counties that have a low census count.

“If you care about your community. When you think about the funding for schools, for hospitals for public safety, for law enforcement. Over the next ten years, our population count, our census count, will determine what federal funding we receive, again, for the next ten years,” implored Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis.

The Mayor said he believes the pandemic has played a part in the lower numbers.

“On the 16th of March, we shut things down in our city and things began to shut down across the state of Georgia Due to COVID-19.  That caused people to be at a place of where the most important thing on everybody’s mind was COVID-19,” said Mayor Davis.

He explained that the federal funding each county receives is directly based on population. The more people living in a county, the more money the county gets for things like education, roads, and community development grants.

If the Census response rate of 60.2% stays the same by next week’s deadline, Augusta stands to lose up to $1 billion in federal funding over the next ten years.

“Those dollars are drastically reduced if we get an under-count in our community.  And it’s so vitally important for us to make sure we have every Augustan counted,” the Mayor explained.

People still have nearly a week to fill out their Census forms. Mayor Davis said that just a little bit of your time will make a big difference for Richmond County.

“And so once again, the message is simple. Ten minutes that translates into ten years of Augusta’s future.” 

Everyone was mailed a Census for, but if you have lost yours, you can call (844) 330-2020 or fill it out online by clicking HERE.

The final day to submit your Census form is September 30th.

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