The online checkbook program initiated in 2014 by Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel is an excellent example of encouraging local governments to make their finances easily accessible to the public.
As reported today in The Times-Gazette, Paint Township is the latest local government entity in Highland County to sign up for OhioCheckbook.com. The city of Hillsboro, village of Leesburg and Madison Township previously joined the program.
As described by the state treasurer’s office, “OhioCheckbook.com was launched on December 2, 2014, marking the first time in Ohio history when citizens could actually see every expenditure in state government. Since its launch, OhioCheckbook.com has received overwhelming support from newspapers and groups across the state and, as of January 3, 2017 there have been more than 686,000 total searches on the site. OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $564 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 153 million transactions.”
Making local government finances as transparent as possible helps everyone have a better understanding of their tax dollars at work. We congratulate the office of the state treasurer for initiating this program, and we commend the local government agencies that have already signed onto OhioCheckbook.com. We encourage others to follow their lead.