Report: Washingtonians pay less taxes than residents in 29 other states

July 28, 2010

NEW — 1 p.m. July 28, 2010

Washingtonians shell out a smaller percentage of their income in state and local taxes than residents in 29 other states, a report issued Tuesday by the state Department of Revenue shows.

Evergreen State residents paid $105.49 in state and local taxes per $1,000 of personal income during the 2008 fiscal year, compared to the $111.99 national average. The state ranked 26th in 2007.

Washingtonians paid, on average, $4,354 in taxes during 2008 — just less than the $4,371national average.

Washington ranked 16th in taxes per capita in 2008 and 15th in 2007.

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City’s population nudges upward

July 20, 2010

The number of people who moved to Issaquah last year could fit inside Pickering Barn and still have plenty of room to spare.

The annual tally from the state Office of Financial Management shows the city’s population nudged upward by 270 people last year, bringing the population to 27,160 residents. (The historic Pickering Barn holds 400 people.)

The latest population figures indicate a slowdown after a decade marked by large annexations and a housing construction boom in the Issaquah Highlands and Talus. The city ballooned by 139 percent between April 2000 and April 2009.

Issaquah ranked as the fifth fastest-growing city in the state during the previous decade. In early 2000, about 11,000 people called Issaquah home. The population had swelled to 26,890 by April 2009.

“It’s slowed down quite a bit, of course, over the last year, due to the recession,” city Planning Director Mark Hinthorne said.

Issaquah remains the 38th largest city in the state — a spot the city has held since 2008. The city ranked 61st in April 2000.

State demographers rely on changes in school enrollment, housing, voter registration, driver licensing and other indicators to determine population growth.

State officials use the population data to determine how dollars should be allotted to municipalities.

Despite the recession-related slowdown, Issaquah stands to grow in the years ahead. Earlier this year, planners proposed adding 5,750 housing units and 20,000 jobs to Issaquah by 2035.

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Census takers conduct follow-up visits

July 20, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. July 20, 2010

Expect to see census workers throughout the Issaquah area again, as the U.S. Census Bureau conducts follow-up operations at a handful of houses.

Workers will be knocking on doors at some houses in Issaquah to collect information in order to confirm the accuracy of the data collected by the original census taker.

The process also helps census workers identify vacant homes, a special concern given the number of residences in foreclosure due to the economic downturn. Workers will visit households listed as vacant on April 1 to double check for occupants.

The operation verifies the location of addresses provided by forms or through telephone interviews to ensure the decennial census counts everyone in the correct location.

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Census takers have started canvassing

June 1, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. June 1, 2010

Census takers started going door to door in May to count people in households that did not receive or return 2010 census forms. If a form arrived too late to be processed, a census taker will visit the household as well.

If a census taker comes knocking, use the following tips to verify if the worker is legitimate:

The census taker must present identification — a badge with a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date. The census taker might also carry a black canvas bag with a U.S. Census Bureau logo.

If asked, the census taker will provide the supervisor contact information and the local census office phone number for verification.

The census taker will only ask the questions that appear on the 2010 Census form.

The census taker will not ask for Social Security numbers, bank account numbers or credit card numbers, and will never solicit for donations, or contact residents by e-mail.

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Local residents participate overwhelmingly in census

May 4, 2010

Most Issaquah residents — 76 percent — had participated in the nationwide census by last week.

To complete the decennial count, census workers will start visiting homes in May. April 16 marked the deadline to return census forms by mail. Census workers will soon fan out across neighborhoods to visit households that did not return the forms.

The return rate for Issaquah exceeds state and national averages. Statewide, 74 percent had returned census forms by last week. Washington has also exceeded the participation rate for the 2000 Census. Officials reported the national participation rate at 72 percent last week.

Issaquah lags behind neighboring Sammamish: 80 percent of residents there returned census forms.

Track the numbers on the U.S. Census Bureau website.

The mail participation rate reflects the percentage of forms mailed back by households. Census Bureau officials developed the measure for the 2010 count, in part because of the recession and accompanying higher rates of vacant housing.

The rate excludes households with forms that were returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable, suggesting a vacant house. Temporary census workers will follow up with undeliverable addresses.

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Census forms sent to Sammamish have wrong cities

March 30, 2010

The upcoming census left out Sammamish — at least on the forms sent to Sammamish residents. Read more

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Press Editorial

March 16, 2010

The census count should matter to you

Look in your mailbox this week for your household’s census count.

Oh, that’s right, you already know about that, thanks to last week’s letter notifying you that another letter is coming. That first letter cost $57 million to send, in hopes that fewer in-person census takers will be needed.

The Census Bureau is employing other marketing tools to pump up awareness, including a televised Super Bowl ad last month, printed ads in 28 languages and subtle referrals to printed inside fortune cookies — including some found here in Issaquah.

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2010 Census: Time to stand up and be counted

February 23, 2010

Once every 10 years, it comes out of hiding, and it feeds. It feeds on your personal information, and it’s hungry for its decennial supper. No, it’s not a horrible monster; it’s the 2010 census.

Here’s the good news: The Census Bureau has taken steps to ensure the process is as quick and painless as possible for residents.

The census is a short questionnaire mailed to every household across the country every 10 years. Only one census must be filled out per household, and the census will ask about the number of people living in a given household. Specifically, it will ask the ages, genders and races of the people living in the household, and their relations to the homeowner. It will also ask for a phone number.

All residents need to do is fill out the census and return it in the postage-paid envelope the Census Bureau provides. It’s as simple as that.

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Sign up to be a census taker during once-in-a-decade count

February 9, 2010

U.S. Census Bureau officials need temporary employees to help count King County residents during the decennial tally. Read more

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Sign up to be a census taker during once-in-a-decade count

February 4, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 4, 2010

U.S. Census Bureau officials need temporary employees to help count King County residents during the decennial tally.

The temporary jobs pay $17.50 per hour, including paid training. Applicants must be 18 or older and have a valid Social Security number. Most applicants will need a valid driver’s license.

Call 866-861-2010 toll free to sign up for a 30-minute, multiple-choice basic-skills test, or take a practice test here.

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