Albemarle County is finding new ways to display spending habits

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Albemarle County has now made it even easier to view how it makes money, and how it has been and likely will be spent.

Lori Allshouse is the director of office, management, and budget for Albemarle County, and says there is the PDF file online that is always public access.

"We do have some citizens that like to do that,” said Allshouse. “And I encourage it. To look at the county budget in any way is a good way to do so."

The launch date was July 13, and the website is a fast way to look at how Albemarle County tax money is distributed. From public safety, to welfare, to parks and recreation, with a click of a mouse all the expenses are revealed.

It was all designed with help from Smart Cville founder Lucas Ames.

"We took the open source software and customized it for the county," said Ames.

Although the program does not represent the entire budget, it represents a good chunk and shows how the general fund is distributed.

Ames also helped launch the Charlottesville version a year ago.

“There was a decent amount of excitement in the city but a lot of visitors to the city budget site were actually in the county," he said.

There is also an option to enter an individual value for taxes paid to see where the money ends up. For example, if $1,000 is paid in taxes, about $1.22 will go to the Jefferson Area Board for Aging. The publicist for JABA, David McNair says that is a large chunk.

"Something like 40 percent of our budget comes from federal, state, and local funding," said McNair.

Despite this, the slow increase in revenue has not matched the increase in expenses.

"The number of seniors is continuing to grow," said McNair.

Fundraising, grants, and volunteers have to help cover the extra costs.

"Increasingly as time goes by it's not covering the increase in demand for services," said McNair.

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