U.S. Department of Commerce

2012 Census of Governments Collection

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2012 Census of Governments - Finance

Finance Component Questions and Answers

Why should I complete this form? What is the purpose of this survey?

This survey provides the only source of nationwide, comprehensive information on state and local government finances.  The U.S. Congress, federal agencies, state governments, other local governments, educational and research organizations and the general public use the results of our data.


Is this survey mandatory?

Participation in this important survey is voluntary and there are no penalties for not answering questions. However, it is very important that we have your cooperation to ensure the quality of our data. This survey is authorized by Title 13, United States Code, Section 161.


How can I be removed from your mailing list?

Your participation is very important to us.  The Census of Governments is only conducted once every five years and is an important benchmark for our data in interim years. We cannot substitute other government units because it would harm the quality of the data we collect.


Why did I receive this survey?

If you received the Survey of Local Government Finances, we have determined your entity is one of the approximately 89,004 local governments in the United States. Every five years (years ending in ‘2’ and ‘7’) we conduct the Census of Governments, in which we attempt to collect financial data from all local governments. For the four years between our censuses, we collect data from a sample of governments in which case some governments are not surveyed.


The name of our government is incorrect. How do I get it changed?

To have your government name corrected in our database, contact a member of the Census Bureau's Local Government Finance Team.

Phone:1-800-242-4523 (Weekdays 7am - 5pm ET)
Email:govs.finstaff@census.gov


Which fiscal year should we report data for?

A survey year includes each individual government’s fiscal year that ended between July 1 of the previous year and June 30 of the survey year. Therefore, survey year 2012 covers individual government fiscal years from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.


When is the Survey of Local Government Finances due? How do I request a time extension?

The survey is due on February 14, 2013.

To request a time extension for completing the survey, please contact a member of the Census Bureau's Local Government Finance team.

Phone:1-800-832-2839 (Weekdays 7am - 5pm ET)
Email:govs.finstaff@census.gov


How do I correct data after I have already submitted the survey?

If you have already submitted data for your government or agency and would like to make a correction, please contact a member of the Census Bureau's Local Government Finance Team.

Phone:1-800-242-4523 (Weekdays 7am - 5pm ET)
Email:govs.finstaff@census.gov


In the past I’ve only sent you my financial statements, will that suffice this year?

We feel that you are in the best position to accurately report your government or agency’s finances. We use your financial statements to aid in our review of the data you report. If you are still unable to complete the form, please send us your annual financial report or financial statements for the fiscal year period requested.



Is there a fine if I do not complete this survey?
Participation in this important survey is voluntary and there are no penalties for not answering questions. However, it is very important that we have your cooperation to ensure the quality of our data.


Where can I obtain a paper copy of the Survey of Local Government Finances?
There are a couple of options to obtain a paper copy of the Survey of Local Government Finances.
You can select the "Print/Review Form" option from the top toolbar. After selecting the tab, a list of available print options will appear. Selecting the first listed option "Print Blank Form" will allow you to print the appropriate form for your government.

You can access all forms relating to the Survey of Local Government Finances and the Census of Governments by year at http://www.census.gov/govs/cog/get_forms.html.


How do I confirm the Census Bureau received my data?

If you have completed the survey through the web application, you can print your completed form while logged in by selecting the “Print Submitted Form” from the “Print Form” option on the top toolbar.
If you have submitted your survey by mail, fax or over the phone you can contact a member of the Census Bureau's Local Finance team by:

Phone:1-800-832-2839 (Weekdays 7am - 5pm ET)
Email:govs.finstaff@census.gov


How do I contact a member of the Census Bureau's Local Government Finance team?

You can contact a member of the Census Bureau's Local Government Finance team by:

Phone:1-800-242-4523 (Weekdays 7am - 5pm ET)
Email:govs.finstaff@census.gov


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census of Governments | 1(888)202-2691| govs.finstaff@census.gov |  Last Revised: September 20, 2013