JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. —As part of his ongoing commitment to ensuring a more efficient and transparent government, Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick today announced the expansion of the Show-Me Checkbook to include local governments. The Show-Me Checkbook, launched by the Treasurer’s Office in 2018, is one of the most comprehensive state financial data portals in the country.
Today, spending data from six local governments, Cass County, Clay County, Cole County, Jasper County, Newton County, and the City of St. Louis, can be searched, with 16 additional counties in progress. The Office will expand the number of counties as the data becomes available. These six government entities provide information about individual local government expenditures totaling more than $921 million in 2019 alone. Visitors to the Checkbook can examine expenditure data detailing funds, departments, vendors, payment descriptions, and totals for the available government entities.
“Missourians should be able to trust that their government is working for them and that their tax dollars are being spent wisely,” Treasurer Fitzpatrick said. “With record numbers of Missourians quarantining at home, now is the perfect time to go online and see how counties are using our tax dollars. I am grateful to the government entities that have agreed to provide their data for this portal—and look forward to continuing to grow and expand the Show-Me Checkbook as we strive to increase transparency, provide more accountability, and build trust in communities.”
“This expansion provides Missouri citizens access to information that, for many counties, has previously been unavailable without a sunshine request,” Mark Maassen, Missouri Press Association Executive Director, said. “This is a big step forward when it comes to transparency for local governments and we applaud Treasurer Fitzpatrick’s action to make this important financial data more readily available.”
“The Treasurer’s new local transparency portal is an important advancement and addition to Missouri’s growing open government portfolio,” Patrick Ishmael, Show-Me Institute Director of Government Accountability, said. “Local governments in Missouri spend billions of dollars each year, and yet they get only a fraction of the attention that federal and state spending receive. That needs to change. If government can take your money, it should be able to tell you where that money went.”
You can view the new Local Governments section of the Show-Me Checkbook here.