Tennessee Cities Recount Population, In Hopes Of Landing More State Dollars

Officials in Franklin say an updated population count could lead to an additional $600,000 a year in state revenue. They're giving away iPads and gift cards to encourage people to take part in the special census. Image: City of Franklin

Officials in Franklin say an updated population count could lead to an additional $600,000 a year in state revenue. The city is giving away iPads and gift cards to encourage people to take part in the special census. Image: City of Franklin

More than a dozen Tennessee cities are trying to get a better count of their populations. They’re holding special censuses, in the hopes of attracting more state funding.

The state of Tennessee shares revenue with its cities, based on their population. More people equals more money. That’s why Oak Hill is doing its own headcount. Mayor Austin McMullen disputes the 2010 US Census, which showed his city lost population.

“That resulted in a loss of about $20,000 to $25,000 a year. So, over the course of a 10 year period, that’s a pretty significant amount of money,” McMullen said. 

McMullen says that’s especially important, since state funds make up most of the revenue they receive.  While residents pay property tax to Davidson County, the city gets none of that.

McMullen is asking Oak Hill residents to fill out a survey mailed to them, before the end of January. Spring Hill and Franklin are also doing their own censuses right now. Officials in both cities say they’ve gained significant numbers of residents since 2010.

WHO’S COUNTING? 

According to the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, the following cities have conducted special censuses in the past year: Arlington, Bean Station, Cookeville, Forest Hills, Hornbeak, Huntsville, Jefferson City, Kingsport, Saulsbury, and Signal Mountain.

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