Stories of the city's population loss have been greatly exaggerated, Mayor Joe Jenkins says.
Jenkins said the city asked the Census Bureau to re-evaluate its estimate of Provo population for 1988 after it showed a decline to 73,254. The bureau's revised figures show Provo with a population of 82,516.All those missing residents mean a lot to the city, Jenkins said.
"A lot of (federal) dollars flow into the community based on population," Jenkins said. Also, the Legislature passed a bill in 1981 that provides for revenue sharing among Utah cities. Sales tax is redistributed to cities based partly on population.
"As we look at the sales-tax revenue in Provo City, half stays home and half is portioned out," Jenkins said. "We noticed this year we had lost sales tax revenue - up to $100,000 - on the basis that population had decreased when it really hadn't."
But there is another reason the city sought to have its population figures corrected.
"We've taken a little bit of ribbing from other cities across the state - good-naturedly - that we are losing population."
So to all those good-natured jokesters: Quit yer laughing.