HB 2500: Taxpayer Transparency Act would give public access

Taxpayer Association of Oregon Alert

House Bill 2500, the Taxpayer Transparency Act, should be supported by all of us. The bill, if passed would put detailed financial information on a government web site so that managers in the State Government and the public could see in much better detail than in the past where the money goes. The public certainly has a right to know where the money goes and the managers can manage better with more information. House Bill 2500 directs the state agencies to put on a public web site a transaction register that includes a complete record of all expenditures over $100.

This concept was originally adopted by the federal government in 2006. Since then 7 states have implemented transparency web sites. Nine additional states have passed legislation and a governor issued an executive order to implement similar sites. Cities and counties are also implementing transparency web sites.

These web sites are not as expensive as one might think. The federal web site has cost about $1 million so far. This is only a fraction of the $4 million start up cost that was anticipated. Most states have spent $100,000 to $300,000 to implement their web sites. The potential cost savings are huge.