Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tristan 

Fill out and return Census your forms


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Households throughout Montana have either received or will soon receive their 2010 Census form. It is important that we all take the few minutes that is necessary to complete the Census form and return it as soon as possible. The form itself has only ten questions and all responses are held, by federal law, in strict confidence. In fact, the federal government prohibits law enforcement or tax collection agencies from obtaining your Census data and your answers cannot even be obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Also, the confidentiality provisions of the Census Act protect individuals from any federal information-gathering or information-sharing associated with the Patriot Act. The Census form is not intrusive and is designed to accurately count the US population, the same mission the US Census Bureau has had since its inception in 1790. When my Census form arrived, it took only about six minutes to complete for a household of four. Completing the Census form was quick and easy. Montana received $1.8 billion in Census-based federal funding in 2007 for everything from housing to education to elderly services to nutritional programs to highway construction. This figure is significant, but could have been $43 million more, only because 14,390 of our neighbors didn't get counted during the 2000 Census. This undercount represents the total population of Havre and Glendive combined! Completing your Census form and responding quickly also saves tax dollars. Mailing your Census form in the postage-paid return envelope costs the federal government 42 cents. It is estimated to cost $57 to send a Census taker door-to-door to follow up with each household that fails to respond by mail. There are many great reasons to quickly and accurately respond to the 2010 Census. Now that your household has received your Census form, or will shortly, remember to complete and return it at your earliest convenience. Montana is counting on you. Paul Tuss, executive director, Bear Paw Development Corporation Havre


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