The Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce is supporting state government’s move for transparency with HB510, or the creation of Louisiana Checkbook.
“LouisianaCheckbook.com is the online home to the growing movement of citizens and taxpayers who want to see common-sense transparency and accountability for state tax dollars in Louisiana,” according to a prepared statement from the chamber. “If implemented, Louisiana Checkbook would be an easy-to-use, frequently-updated website for citizens to see how taxes are being spent by state.”
The initiative would allow Iberia and state residents to better understand how money is spent and where funds are allocated, according to the chamber. The website will also help to identify budget pitfalls and hopefully help alleviate the partisan budget stalemate that has impacted the state legislature in recent years, according to the chamber.
The statement said that a fiscal note from the Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office estimates outsourcing LouisianaCheckbook.com at $716,000 to $785,000 spread over the first three years. Ongoing software licensing and maintenance costs range from $220,000 to $230,000 annually for state departments on the accounting systems LaGov and AFS.
According to the chamber, state entities not on these systems would require additional one-time and maintenance expenditures. New data sets, such as state debt, may require costs for staff or other resources to be determined. The initial cost estimate in 2008 to build the LaTrac database was $1 million, according to the Legislative Fiscal Office with an annual maintenance cost of $500,000.
“The Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce has been advocating for industry, promoting small business and helping design practices and policies for business in Iberia Parish since 1939,” according to the statement. “Led by a 21 member volunteer board of directors, GICC strives to continue to improve the business environment for our 400-plus membership, as well as making strides to invest in the Iberia Parish community as a whole.”