By Anna DeWine
XENIA — Greene County citizens will be able to see exactly where their tax dollars are being spent.
On Thursday, Treasurer Josh Mandel announced the launch of the Greene County checkbook online at OhioCheckbook.com.
Greene County is Ohio’s 22nd county to join the initiative — an online checkbook system that requires local government to post their spending online, while allowing citizens direct access to specific information.
Mandel also announced the launch of the Village of Jamestown’s checkbook, making it the third village in the county to post its finances.
Two and a half years ago, Ohio ranked nearly at the bottom — 46th in the nation — for government transparency. Thanks to OhioCheckbook.com, today Ohio is leading the nation in government transparency, at number one. Mandel launched the site in December 2014, which, for the first time, put all state spending information on the internet. In April 2015, he sent a letter to 18,062 local government and school officials throughout the state calling on them to place their checkbook level data online.
The site is for the common internet user, featuring a state government tab and a local government tab, an easy to read format, and a search function to look up any agency or vendor. The checkbook not only benefits local citizens, but also gives local governments an effective communication tool.
“By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable,” Mandel said. “I believe the people of Greene County have a right to know how their tax money is being spent.”
Education, communication and partnership were themes of the announcement, highlighting the teamwork of both Mandel’s office and the local leaders of Greene County.
“Greene County has always strived to utilize technology to efficiently manage our government,” Auditor David Graham said. “I am proud to have Greene County join this initiative and look forward to using it to effectively communicate with our citizens.”