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How does Springfield spend taxpayer money? New online portal offers real-time insight

 A screenshot of Springfield's new Open Data section on the city website, springfieldmo.gov. The real-time financial transparency portal launched Feb. 7, 2024.
Screenshot courtesy City of Springfield
A screenshot of Springfield's new Open Data section on the city website, springfieldmo.gov. The real-time financial transparency portal launched Feb. 7, 2024.

City officials say a new online portal will allow residents and city leaders to have quick and easy access to learn how the city’s money is spent.

"[Open Data] has been part of the city trying to get as much financial information out to the public as possible, in a format that they can understand," said David Holtmann, Springfield finance director.

On Wednesday morning the city unveiled a new Open Data section on the city website. By doing so, Springfield joins other local governments around the Ozarks that publish similar financial transparency portals, like Greene County and the City of Branson.

Clicking on Open Data yield instant access to real-time budget graphics showing how much money is coming in through sales tax and license fees, how much is being spent on personnel costs, and more.

City officials say this type of information was previously published less often or had to be requested. They think Open Data will make it easier for the public to learn about the workings of their city, and they expect it to unlock new efficiencies as City Council members and department leaders begin using it.

Open Data was created with help from the California-based OpenGov software company. It cost $193,000 to set up, with an ongoing annual cost of $133,000.

City Council’s first budget overview discussion for 2025 is expected on Feb. 27.

Copyright 2024 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Gregory Holman