When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before. -- H.L. Mencken
Navigate

Blog Home

NTU Home Page

Blog FAQs

About "Government Bytes!"

Support NTU

 
Subscribe
Sign up with NTU's Taxpayer Action Center





 
Blog Contributors
Andrew Moylan
Director of Government Affairs

Dan Barrett
Policy Analyst

David Keating
Senior Counselor

Demian Brady
Senior Policy Analyst

Elizabeth Terrell
Guest Blogger

Jeff Dircksen
Director of Congressional Analysis

Jordan Forbes
Federal Government Affairs Manager

Joshua Culling
State Government Affairs Manager

Kristina Rasmussen
Guest Blogger

Kristine Tuinstra
State Policy Analyst

NTU Gov
Government Affairs & Communications Associate

Paul Gessing
Guest Blogger

Pete Sepp
Vice President for Communications

Rachael Slobodien
Communications Manager

Ross Kaminsky
Blogger

Sam Batkins
Guest Blogger

Tom Horne
Policy Associate

Send to a Friend
Email:
Send to Friend
The Official Blog of National Taxpayers Union

How Transparent is Your Local Government Website?

Posted by Kristina Rasmussen - August 25, 2008

Sunshine Review is working on the My Government Website Project for “people from all around the country to collaboratively determine the extent to which government-managed websites contain the information people need.”

Basically, they’re setting up a wiki-style Website that hosts user reviews of local government Websites. Think about it: every city, county, and school district in the country. Pretty cool.

As part of this project, Sunshine Review created a Transparency Checklist, which lists “features that, ideally, voters and regular citizens in any part of the United States will be able to find when they visit the websites of counties, cities, school districts, and state agencies.”

Here's the tax standard:
Taxes: The website should include the central location for all tax information, including state "fees" such as drivers' licenses; Tax documents for all elected officials and each agency discloses all sources of revenue.
I came across this Will County (IL) tax Website recently, and I was impressed with the extensive tax information provided by Will County Treasurer Pat McGuire. In particular, his letter to taxpayers on everything from assessments and rates to financial counseling and making your voice heard gives a nice “lay of the land.” An easy-to-use menu on the left hand side of the page provides a quick link to specific tax information.

By Sunshine Review’s standards, Will County would get good marks for providing a central location for all tax information.

Consider reviewing and rating your local government’s Website on transparency. You never know: A local bureaucrat might adopt your suggestions for improving the community’s government Website.

Thoughts?   Add Comment -


There are no comments for this entry yet.