Web site allows taxpayers to track government spending - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Web site allows taxpayers to track government spending

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By Ashley Conroy

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The Mississippi Center for Public Policy has launched a new web site called "See the Spending" that allows taxpayers to track where city, state, and local governments are spending money.

On Wednesday, they held a press conference at their center in Jackson to demonstrate how the web site works.  

"It's our responsibility, yours and mine, to make sure that it is spent wisely," said president Forest Thigpen.

Thigpen says they have been working on this initiative for three years and after viewing similar search engines in other states they wanted to simplify the site as much as possible.  

"We looked at what was available in other states and we found that you sort of have to know what you're looking for, to find what you're looking for."

Taxpayers can search 137 state agencies, browse more than 1,300 categories, and search more than 145,000 vendors.

"What we've created is a web site that allows everyday people to explore and find out how their state is spending their money," Thigpen said.

This web site can trace back to fiscal year 2004 and the center says it will updated with new information monthly.

To browse through state spending, taxpayers can search by vendor, agency, or category. Once they reach a search, a check on the site will appear that says "State of Mississippi."

From there, someone can choose what they want to search and how they want to search it.

The center says the bottom line is for taxpayers to be in charge of where they think government money shouldn't be spent.

"So that we can focus the state spending on items that are proper function of government," Thigpen said.

Link to See the Spending: www.seethespending.org

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