Morning Journal: Village of Kipton joins OhioCheckbook.com
February 4, 2018
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has announced the launch of the Village of Kipton’s online checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com.
Kipton becomes the second village in Lorain County to post their spending online, and includes over 900 individual transactions representing more than $227,000 in spending over the last four years, according to a news release.
“I believe the people of Lorain County have a right to know how their tax money is being spent, and I applaud local leaders here for partnering with my office to post the finances on OhioCheckbook.com,” Mandel said in the release. “By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable.”
“Transparency is a good idea,” said Kipton Village Fiscal Officer Tom Bray. “I hope this example of it makes its way up the ladder and spreads sunlight throughout the state and nation.”
Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com in 2014, setting a new national standard for government transparency in tracking all state spending information on the Internet, the release stated. The site recently earned Ohio the number one government transparency ranking for the second straight year.
In 2015, Mandel sent a letter to 18,062 local government and school officials representing 3,962 local governments throughout the state calling on them to place their checkbook level data on OhioCheckbook.com and extending an invitation to partner with his officer at no cost to local governments. Entities include cities, counties, townships, schools, library districts and other special districts, the release said.
Since its launch in 2014, there have been more than 896,000 total searches on OhioCheckbook.com, and as on Jan. 29, 2017,it displays more than $644 billion in spending over the last 10 years covering 173 million transactions with Google-style search capabilities and interactive charts to track spending patterns.
In March, 2015, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group released their annual “Following the Money 2015” report and Ohio was featured, climbing from 46th to the top spot in government transparency ranking, attaining a perfect score of 100 from the organization.