HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today unveiled a new, groundbreaking transparency website feature that for the first time allows Pennsylvania taxpayers to access up-to-date information on the state's General Fund, which serves as the state's checkbook. The portal (www.patreasury.gov/transparency) tracks the current balance of the General Fund, compares monthly and annual revenues and expenditures and illustrates how Treasury's line of credit prevents the fund from falling into the negative.
"I promised to bring transparency to our state government and this new feature provides taxpayers with a dynamic look at how the state is spending their money," said Torsella. "Knowledge is power and by providing access to this information, we can help taxpayers and policymakers see and understand the budget challenges the commonwealth faces."
Treasury approves and processes all state payments and is now utilizing that information to provide easily understandable visual representations of the General Fund balance. The site tracks information on the General Fund beginning with FY 2014 -15 and will automatically update each day to reflect the state's latest transactions. Treasury plans to expand dramatically the transparency site in the near future to provide more in-depth information on the state's expenses.
"To our knowledge no other states provide this type of information in an easily accessible format," said Torsella. "But this is only the first phase and we will continue to add more detailed data on how the state spends taxpayer dollars. My goal is to make it possible for Pennsylvanians to review the state's finances as easily as they can their own."
The website features a chart illustrating how Treasury bolsters the state's General Fund balance by extending a line of credit to allow the commonwealth to satisfy its liquidity needs during extended periods of shortfalls in the General Fund. During this fiscal year, Treasury has provided the state with a $2.5 billion line of credit of which the state has used $2.2 billion to prevent the General Fund from going below zero. Without the line of credit, the General Fund would have been in negative territory since late October 2016.
"This clearly shows how the state repeatedly has had to borrow money just to pay its ongoing costs," said Torsella. "The problem continues to get worse but like the movie Groundhog Day, the state just keeps doing the same thing over and over."
Media contact: Scott Sloat: (717) 695-1789 or email@example.com
The Pennsylvania Treasury is an independent department of state government led by the state treasurer, who is elected every four years. The department's primary duty is to safeguard and manage the state's public funds. It invests state money to generate income on behalf of the citizens of Pennsylvania, reviews and processes payments for state government agencies, and serves as custodian of more than $100 billion in state funds. Key Treasury programs include Unclaimed Property, PA 529 College Savings Program and the Board of Finance and Revenue.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Treasury