Why visualize your town’s budget?
|Government employees and elected officials understand that budgets are the road maps they must follow. Insiders live and breathe the budget. They wade through 300-page PDFs and toss around terms like “enterprise fund” and “capital outlay” with aplomb But most community residents have little insight into municipal finances.This is why VisGov created the Visual Budget – a tool for deepening the conversation between government and citizens about how taxpayer dollars are being spent, and why. It lets citizens understand budget priorities at a glance, see how their own tax dollars are spent, and understand the context for financial decisions, without devoting a week to reading spreadsheets. The Visual Budget gives citizens the information they need to have informed conversations with municipal officials about values and priorities, enriching the experience for all.||“Increasing transparency and accessibility to financial information has long been a goal for the Town. We hope this new feature will encourage users to learn more about Town finances and be more engaged in the annual budget discourse.”
Arlington Town Manager – Adam Chapdelaine
Benefits to Residents
Benefits to Government Employees
|See how your tax dollars are spent||Helps communicate budgets and planning|
|Understand the long-term plans and alternatives||Saves time preparing for presentations and literature|
|Compare past budgets to actual results (future feature)||Helps interpretation and evaluation of long-term plans and forecasts|
|Compare your town with others (future feature)||Meaningful comparisons with other cities and towns (future feature)|
|Compare different forecast scenarios (“what if”)||Present results of different scenarios (e.g. override vote results)|
What we do – we’re here to help
Visual Government Inc is a civic tech consultancy on a mission to provide transparency solutions for public finance at a price affordable to all cities and towns through the use of free, open-source software, including our own budget visualization tool, Visual Budget.
VisGov provides support services for Visual Budget users, including web site design and hosting, dataset preparation, and maintenance. Our $3,000 starter kit includes your customized web site and 2 years of data preparation and maintenance. For more information, visit visgov.com.