Kenucky’s Auditor of Public Accounts, Adam Edelen, said in a press release this morning that he plans to shed light on the state’s special taxing districts. These districts account for anywhere between $500 million and $1.5 billion in taxpayer money and very little is known about them. Examples of these districts include sanitation districts, libraries and airports.
“I support the important work that special districts such as libraries, fire departments and water and sewer boards do, but if you have ability to take from taxpayers you have to be accountable to them,” Edelen said. “This is a huge layer of government that is operating not just in the shadows, but in the pitch black dark.”
Government operating in the dark is never a good thing.
The Bluegrass Institute, a long time advocate of transparency in Kentucky, was also quoted in the press release:
“How can taxpayers hold these districts accountable when the basic facts about how they function and how many exist are unknown?” said Logan Morford, vice president of Transparency for the conservative, free-market think tank Bluegrass Institute. “I sincerely hope that this fact-finding mission can help bring these districts into the light.”
The press release mentions a plan to put information about the 1,800 special taxing districts in an online database that will allow citizens to track the financial going-ons of these districts. Making this information available to the public is absolutely the right thing to do – 3 million auditors is better than one.
Transparency is truly a non-partisan issue. It is admirable that so many groups from so many backgrounds and ideological learnings are lending their support in an effort to better understand how taxpayer money is being spent.
Read the press release here.