Since 2006, more than 20 states have taken legislative and/or executive action to create spending transparency websites where taxpayers can view how their governments are spending their money. However, in some states think tanks either are picking up the slack or complementing the government’s efforts by launching transparency portals to help taxpayers uncover how their states and/or local governments are spending their money. In the last week, a few notable websites have launched:

  • – this site, launched by the Ethan Allen Institute, provides information on state spending and revenues, as well as expenditures by municipalities and school districts
  • – the John Locke Foundation’s portal grades state agencies (including school districts and municipalities) on their spending transparency and offers budget information with links to the state spending website for a more detailed look at state expenditures
  • – this portal was created by the Caesar Rodney Institute and gives taxpayers a searchable, sortable database to research state spending and salaries, as well as expenditure data for school districts.
All three of these websites are excellent resources for taxpayers to keep an eye on government spending. The Center for Fiscal Accountability tracks transparency efforts across the country and advocates for more open, accountable government. For more information and the latest updates on the transparency movement at the state and federal level, visit