UPDATE: The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security recently held a public hearing on the Census Bureau’s FY 2013 budget and the proposed elimination of the American Community Survey (ACS). This hearing comes after the US House of Representatives voted in May to support Representative Daniel Webster’s (R-FL) Amendment 1077 to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies 2013 Appropriations Act (H.R. 5326), to eliminate the ACS, a detailed national annual survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The vote passed the House by a margin of 232 to 190. The Senate is expected to vote on this measure later in the year.
The ACS collects data on some 250,000 households each year and is the largest federal survey next to the decennial census. The ACS provides data that helps determine how federal and state funds are spent annually and businesses rely heavily on it to make important business decisions. Specific to the housing industry, the ACS provides invaluable demographic, income, renter and household data, an important resource for developers looking to apply for federal and state grants, market analysts evaluating demand, and for investors making decisions about where to invest.
Analysts predict that this measure is unlikely to pass the Senate, but warn that it could also be attached to other legislation. Representative Webster said his cut would save $2.5 billion.