If you want to know how much Douglas County is spending, what its budget is or historical data in regards to the tax levy, there’s now an easy way to find out — the OpenGov website.
But, it doesn’t come free.
At a recent board meeting, the county commissioners approved paying the $7,000 price tag for the contract with OpenGov, which will run from Aug. 1 of this year through July 31, 2017.
“It’s about the need for transparency,” said Char Rosenow, Douglas County Auditor/Treasurer of using the OpenGov service.
Douglas County has been using OpenGov, which is a website service designed to visualize county financial data in easy-to-read graphs and charts, for awhile. They feel it is an important resource for taxpayers because all of the information is in one place.
“We’re not hiding anything from taxpayers,” Rosenow said. “It’s all about being transparent. Taxpayers are interested in how the budget affects them and now they can see it in an easier fashion.”
Rosenow said that if residents have specific questions, they can always call the auditor’s office, as well.
The public can find a link on the Douglas County website’s homepage. Under Quick Links on the righthand side of the page, there is a link labeled, “OpenGov – Interactive Finances.” The website is douglascomn.opengov.com.
Currently, the information on the Douglas County OpenGov website includes the annual budget, both actual and proposed, along with tax levy historical data from 2009 to the present and the current Tax Increment Financing settlements.
Data can be viewed in a variety of graphs including a percentage graph, stacked graph, line graph, bar graph or pie chart. Taxpayers can view financial information by each department as whole or they can break it down to get more details about that department.
For example, while perusing the website, taxpayers can look at Public Works as a whole, and then within that department, they can see a detailed breakdown of the expenses.
Rosenow said that capital assets will soon be added and there is opportunity for the website to grow and have more information added to it.
For more information or for specific budget questions, contact the auditor’s office at (320) 762-3077.
Published: September 30, 2016
Source: Douglas County financial website