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Decatur launches ‘Transparency Portal’

Decatur slideshow

Decatur launches ‘Transparency Portal’

Decatur City Hall.
Decatur City Hall.

Decatur City Hall.

The city of Decatur is striving to be more transparent by providing a resource for residents to keep track of how the city spends their tax money.

Decatur has partnered with ClearGov to create a “fiscal transparency portal.”

“The new tool will enable taxpayers to clearly see how Decatur is funded and how this funding is allocated to provide services to its residents,” a press release from the city says.

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According to the new website, in Fiscal Year 2016 the city received $23.8 million in revenues, or about $1,196 per person per year, and has $23.5 million in expenses. The transparency website says $15.5 million comes from property taxes. Each category is funding category broken down by source, creating a bread-crumb trail of information.

The numbers for Fiscal Year 2017 show the city’s expenses will exceed revenues by about $1 million. Projected revenues are $24.2 million and expenses are $25.3 million.

City Manager Peggy Merriss said transparency is always something the city has valued.

“Having an engaged community has always been important to Decatur as we believe an informed community is an engaged partner with government,” Merriss said in the press release. “Providing open access to financial information is critical to building and keeping the public trust, encourages accountability, and improves the understanding of how tax money is spent within the City.”

Decatur will be the first city in Georgia using the ClearGov platform.

“The platform is not only designed to provide the public access to financials, but also provide a centralized source of financial data to city officials to make more informed policy and budgetary decisions,” the press release says.

To visit Decatur’s ClearGov page visit: http://www.cleargov.com/georgia/dekalb/city/decatur/2016

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