Illinois launches government finances database

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Illinois has launched a comprehensive online database that gives taxpayers access to thousands of financial records for local governments.

More than 5,000 county, municipal and special tax districts across Illinois submit financial reports to the state’s comptroller’s office every year.

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says those records and other information collected by her office is now available to the public online.  The new database is called “The Warehouse.”

Topinka says the database eliminates hassles for taxpayers who might have previously  had to file Freedom of Information requests or sort through complicated files to get information now available on the database.

“That information should be at their fingertips, and that’s what ‘The Warehouse’ accomplishes,” Topinka said.

Records can be searched by community name, unit of government or report type.  The site also allows users to compare performance of one government against another.

A similar website for Illinois state-level finances, called “The Ledger,” was launched in 2012.