Tracing the Flow of Tax Dollars

Kentucky launches a new calculator tool that lets taxpayers see precisely where their tax dollars went.

by / June 14, 2013
Central Kentucky Shutterstock

Have you ever wondered just what programs and agencies are benefitting from your tax dollars? Most public agencies offer fairly detailed budget information online, but what if you want a more detailed account  -- a deeper dive than just a general breakdown of agency revenues and expenses?

Kentucky's Finance and Administration Cabinet now offers the Citizen Tax Calculator on the state's transparency portal, By entering the amount of state taxes you paid, you can see specifically how your tax money was spent by the state. According to Kentucky Interactive, a division of NIC, and the Commonwealth's e-government partner, results are returned in a visual format that also lets users delve into 6 major categories to trace state spending in more than 100 subcategories.

If you don't have your tax receipt handy, the tool also offers options to estimate what your likely tax burden was, and where that money went. A single parent with one child and an income of $60,000, for example, would learn that $1.279.36 of their $3,126 total taxes paid went to Department of Education programs. They could also find out that they contributed $35.51 toward the first phase of Kentucky's tobacco settlement.

The calculator, launched in February, was developed using HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript and features responsive design, maximizing its functionality regardless of the device being used to access it.

Photo from Shutterstock

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