Frederick Watchdog—Tough to Follow the Money in Maryland

The Frederick News-Post
Clifford G. Cumber

If you want to see how your tax dollars are being spent in Maryland, well, you'll have a so-so time finding out.

A recent report on the 50 states' transparency in government and spending, called "Following the Money 2011," was released last week by Maryland PIRG Foundation. It grades the state with a pretty average C when it comes to the state's financial openness.

According to the report, Maryland is "emerging but still not a leader due to serious deficiencies." 

Top transparency states include Kentucky, Texas, Indiana, Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio and Oregon.

That's right. Louisiana does a better job of providing fiscal information than we do. That surprised me.

The report does state that the Maryland website has added new sets of financial data and detailed information on grant programs and economic development incentives, but not historical tax data, or, to any large extent, contracts.