See your tax dollars in action
West Virginia State Auditor John McCuskey this week unveiled the state’s new website — www.wvcheck book.gov — to provide citizens a graphic snapshot on state government spending and revenue, reported John McConville in the The Journal of Martinsburg.
“This site has been built in a way that will be efficient and user-friendly for all of our citizens who seek to track and examine where their tax dollars are being spent,” McCuskey said during a Martinsburg news conference, the Journal reported.
“These figures will be available by agency and vendor for both purchasing and payments through wvCheckbook, which is a tab on the site. Any electronic copies of data or documents will be posted and constantly updated.”
McCuskey said information provided by the website will enable residents to become informed citizens about how state government operates.
Created through a collaboration with OpenGov.com, the open data portal aggregates, organizes and visualizes various data sets like budgets, special funds and informational requests.
“You will have the ability in a sort of Google-like environment to filter through 40 million data points to see how your money is being spent,” McCuskey said.
“It will also show you how the money is coming in,” McCuskey said. “You will be able to break down our state’s income by tax and revenue source. You will be able to see how much the income tax is bringing in, how much the sales tax is bringing in, and be able to compare that to years before, and to make your judgment to how the (state) economy is doing.”
The website now limits information to state data, but McCuskey said the long-term goal is to add portal space for city and county governments and local boards of education.
Hopefully, by citizens being able to see their state tax dollars in action, there will be more government accountability and less inaction.