Carmel expects to land extra $1.7M due to population gains

Carmel’s population has grown by 7,755 people since 2010, bringing its population to 86,946, the city announced Wednesday, citing a partial special census it conducted late last year.

Carmel officials estimate they will see an additional $1.7 million in state tax distributions over the next five years due to the population growth. That amount is in addition to the $388,911 cost for conducting the special census.

Fast-growing suburbs around Indianapolis, including Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Noblesville and Whitestown, have conducted several special population counts in recent years to make sure they receive proper tax distributions.

Municipalities can miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in higher tax distributions—from the motor vehicle highway fund, cigarette and tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, and riverboat wagering—if their population is undercounted.

Without a special census, those allocations are based on population numbers the U.S. Census Bureau collects only once a decade.
Carmel’s latest special census also found the city had 32,836 housing units, up from 30,738 in 2010.

“We work very hard on financial planning to ensure local taxpayers get the most from their tax dollars, and conducting this special census will pay off for the city,” Mayor Jim Brainard said in a written statement. “Clearly, our efforts to build a great city to live, work and play are paying off by attracting more people to Carmel.”

Carmel said it will begin receiving the additional tax revenue this year.

Fishers completed a special census last year that pegged its population at 87,887, up 14 percent from 2010, when it was 76,794. The city spent $394,037 on the special count and estimated it would collect an additional $2.3 million in state funding through 2021 because of the population growth.

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