New Website Lets New Yorkers Track City Spending

By Olivia Scheck on July 2, 2010 10:59am 

Well over 80 million city dollars have gone to the New York Public Library during the past month alone, according to CheckbookNYC.com, a new website that allows New Yorkers to track city spending.
Well over 80 million city dollars have gone to the New York Public Library during the past month alone, according to CheckbookNYC.com, a new website that allows New Yorkers to track city spending.
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Flickr/wallyg

By Olivia Scheck

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — For anyone who's wondered where his or her tax dollars go, New York City Comptroller John Liu has an answer.

The rookie financial auditor launched a website Thursday that will allow citizens to track over $35 billion in city expenditures, according to a statement released by his office.

"It's about open government," Comptroller Liu said of the new site, CheckbookNYC.com. "It's about intrinsic accountability. It's about creating strong incentives to save taxpayer money."

The resource, which will be updated daily, allows New Yorkers to search by department, type of expenditure, payee or contract number to find out what happened to their hard-earned cash.

There are still kinks to be worked out in the system, which itself cost about $320,000 to build, according to the New York Times.  Searches for personal names, for instance, like "Scott Stringer," "Gale Brewer," and "John Liu" were not turning up any results as of Friday morning.

But there is plenty of interesting information to be gleaned from the site.

If you were wondering how much the New York Public Library has spent in the past month alone, the answer is a whopping $80,627,261. If you are curious about the city's monthly postage bill, they've spent $5,352,385 since June 2.

Checkbook NYC is latest in a suite of online applications offered through the comptroller's website, including Clearview NYC, which allows users to see which organizations the city does business with, and Open Audit NYC, which allows people to suggest ways that the city can save money.

The new addition is expected to cost $70,000 per year to maintain, the Times noted.

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