RIPLEY, W.Va. — Jackson County is now the 28th county in West Virginia to have information online on how public funds are being spent through the wvCheckbook program operated by the office of state Auditor J.B. McCuskey.

J.B. McCuskey

The Jackson County Commission launched the site Wednesday in Ripley.

Through the program anyone in the public can go to wvCheckbook.gov and search how the state and individual counties spend tax revenues, what employees are paid along with other information.

McCuskey began the website in February 2018 with state information. There are now 40 total counties that are either live or have committed to be part of the program.

“That’s not bad especially when it’s voluntary,” McCuskey said. “What we’ve seen is that local governments have embraced this idea of taxpayer transparency and we are so proud to make West Virginia the most transparent state in the country.”

wvCheckbook originally started with state spending and then began adding counties and municipalities. Those interested can also track education spending.

McCuskey attended a retreat in a recent days where the Hunt Institute, a public education think tank, facilitated discussion about education spending. He said those in attendance came away impressed with the education spending displayed on the checkbook.

“It was really interesting to see some of the national experts open up the checkbook and say, ‘Oh my goodness, you guys have such an incredible leg up here with the ability for all of the subject matter experts to see where the spending is going,’” McCuskey said.

There are currently two dozen municipalities across the state that post their financial information on the checkbook site.

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