Nick McWilliams reporting – The Tuscarawas County Commissioners are asking for residents to provide a high-response rate on the upcoming census.

In 2020, the United States is set to conduct its once-a-decade survey of individuals living in each state, county and city.

With a concern over lower reporting numbers reflecting a decrease in population in the county, Commissioner Joe Sciaretti says that can cause a drop in funds available to local governments.

“For every belly-button, like they say, is $1,800 back to the county in federal reimbursements. And so, if we’re off … and they’re telling us [from] 2010, we’re 500 below where we were. We know that’s not true.”

Sciaretti’s evidence related to schools needing to construct larger schools to accommodate growing enrollment numbers, few homes for sale and employment numbers.

With the topic of immigrants and deportations gaining attention every day, Sciarreti wants all residents to know reporting is safe and secure.

“[The Census Bureau] can’t even share this data with the President of the United States. It’s confidential. Immigrants will be counted. And that means money back to the county in terms of federal reimbursements.”

Funds returned from the census can be used for Medicaid and related programs, as well as housing assistance, highways and education.

Census figures also determine the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives.

National Census Day will be April 1st next year, but totals will not be released until the following year.

Copyright WTUZ Radio Inc., 2019