CA Controller Launches Search Tool for Special District Finances
SACRAMENTO – State Controller Betty T. Yee today launched a multi-faceted government transparency tool to help Californians analyze financial records for the state’s thousands of special districts. The new interface is similar to those previously built for city, county, and defined-benefit and defined-contribution pension systems on ByTheNumbers.sco.ca.gov.
“A special district is usually lesser known than a city or county government, yet it can be just as important to people’s daily lives. Special districts vary significantly in size and budget, providing essential services such as health care and fire protection throughout California,” said Controller Yee, the state’s chief fiscal officer. “My new data search tool will enable any Californian with or without technical expertise to study how special districts are using tax dollars to fulfill their missions.”
Special districts are local agencies formed for a specific service such as hospitals, parks and recreation, irrigation, fire protection, cemeteries, or pest control. The new search tool includes unaudited fiscal information for more than 4,800 special districts, including millions of new data fields. The website allows users to check revenues, expenditures, liabilities, assets, and fund balances for 11 fiscal years. The new data set quadruples the amount of information available on the Controller’s By the Numbers website, which has grown to be a one-stop shop for public finance information in California.
The special districts data home page can be found here. With new functions, users can:
- Do a trend analysis of revenues and expenditures comparing as many as five districts at once.
- Compare outstanding amounts of revenue bonds.
- Find out how much money a special district got from federal or state government.