Sarasota, TaxWatch Stress Importance Of Census

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY NOV 7, 2019

Sarasota officials joined with leaders of Florida TaxWatch on Wednesday in encouraging citizens to participate in the 2020 Census.

"Getting the census right is not just about knowing how many people call our beautiful city home, importantly, it guides the distribution of federal dollars into this community,” said Mayor Liz Alpert. “That means in 2020, millions of dollars are on the line and dependent on us getting a full and accurate count of every resident in Sarasota."

Notably, members of the all-Democrat City Commission joined with a politically conservative group to stress the importance of the region being counted correctly.

“The importance of the 2020 Census cannot be overstated. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, omissions in Florida in the 2010 Census were as high as 1.3 million, equivalent to more than three times the population of Sarasota County,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro. “As Florida prepares to welcome more than three million new residents over the next 10 years, there has never been a more important time to ensure every single Floridian is accounted for so we get our full and fair share of federal resources.”

TaxWatch officials pointed to a PicewaterhouseCoopers report that showed in the 2000 Census that showed the Census failed to count roughly 200,670 people, which over the next decade cost the state an estimated $2.5 billion in federal grants.

City Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie said the city will employ a Complete County Committee, which launches its efforts Nov. 20 at Sarasota City Hall. “With the census now just five months away, we are fighting every day to make the most of this opportunity to secure every federal resource Sarasota families rightfully deserve,” Eddie said.

Manatee County developer and Florida TaxWatch President Pat Neal, a former state senator, said it’s key federal and state officials know the population in the region to better assess its needs.

“As the eyes and ears of Florida’s taxpayers, and the state’s premier government watchdog for the past 40 years,” Neal said, “TaxWatch knows well the importance of getting a full and fair return on our federal tax dollars and we’re encouraged by the hard work of the City of Sarasota to make sure all their residents are counted.”

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