City of Lexington is excited to announce the launch of an online budget visualization tool created by Smart Cville, a locally-based non-profit organization whose mission is the advancement of open data, civic innovation, and technology-driven solutions throughout local government.
The Smart Cville budget visualization tool allows the public to understand where the City’s revenues come from and how they are spent in a simple, straightforward manner. Usually, the City publishes this data within a PDF document. Now, in addition to the PDF, citizens will be able to view the data interactively on the City’s budget visualization website. Visitors to the site can input their annual property tax and fees and see exactly how that money is expended, broken down by categories such as Public Safety, Health and Welfare, Community Development, and Public Works.
“Digital technology has opened a new door for transparency in government,” said Noah A. Simon, Lexington City Manager. “I am very happy to be able to provide this tool to our citizens, thanks to Smart Cville. By making it easier for people to understand the budget, we hope to embolden residents to get involved, start conversations, and in turn improve services for the public.”
City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle have also worked with Smart Cville to create budget visualization tools for their municipalities.
"It's exciting to see budget clarity and transparency move to another locality in Central Virginia,” said Lucas Ames, Founder Smart Cville. “As a non-profit, we believe in promoting budget transparency and citizen engagement, while also saving localities money relative to private sector alternatives. The Lexington team, led by Noah Simon, moved quickly and professionally to get this tool in front of its citizens. I anticipate Lexington residents will appreciate engaging with the City's budget in a clearer and more personal way.”
To explore the City budget visualization site yourself, click here. Not included in this tool are the budgets for the Capital Fund, School’s Funds, and Water and Sewer Fund.