A local township supervisor is stressing the importance of participation in the upcoming census for the health of all municipal budgets across the county.

Census Day is Wednesday, April 1st. An accurate count of where all people are residing on that day is important because it helps to determine how much federal funding for the next 10 years comes to the state, and then down to the local governments. Handy Township Supervisor Ed Alverson says a common misnomer is that property taxes make up the bulk of a municipality’s revenue, but in reality it’s State Shared Revenue based off population that’s responsible for over half of their budget. And while some people don’t want to respond to anything from the government because it’s the government, Alverson says answering the 9 question confidential census is one of the most important things residents can do for the community they live in. An accurate count can not only help a local government maintain their budget, but possibly increase it without a millage. Alverson says, for example, in Handy Township, State Shared Revenues help pay for 40% of the recreation budget, drain improvements, they support seniors and the school liaison officer. State Shared Revenue also supports new state requirements for elections, of which there are several this year, whose costs also come out of township general funds.

Information on how to participate in the Census is being mailed out this week. Alverson says in Handy Township they are taking it a step further, using door hangers, social media and the electronic signs at the schools and fire station to remind people. The Supervisor says that while Handy Township is a smaller growing township than others east of them, they’ve had 230 new homes built since the last census, and he’s cautiously optimistic they’ll have an increase in population.

To learn more about the Census, visit the county’s website, www.livgov.com, and click on the Census banner. To hear more from Supervisor Alverson, be sure to tune in to WHMI’s Viewpoint this Sunday at 8:30am, when he will be the special guest.