INDEPENDENT BUDGET OFFICE
The City of New York
110 WILLIAM STREET, 14TH FL., NEW YORK, NY 10038
|For Immediate Release
March 16, 1998
|Contact: Herbert Block
* NEWS RELEASE *
Where do your income tax dollars go? Taxpayers across the country can now get the answer through the internet Tax Receipt service of the New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO). By visiting IBO's website at www.ibo.nyc.ny.us and simply entering the total amount of income taxes paid from 1997 federal tax returns, any taxpayer can now get an itemized printout of how much of their taxes went for specific services. A taxpayer will now be able to easily find out how much he or she personally contributed - in actual dollars and cents - to numerous government activities, such as national defense, Medicare, transportation, space flight, interest on debt, higher education, agriculture, veterans benefits, and disaster relief.
"When you buy groceries or pay medical expenses you get an itemized receipt or bill listing how your money was spent. But when it comes to income taxes - probably the greatest annual expense for most people - taxpayers get no documentation in return. IBO's Tax Receipt enables taxpayers to better understand how the government spends their money by generating actual amounts, not just percentages, spent on specific services. This will help explain complex government budgets and thereby create a more informed citizenry," said Douglas A. Criscitello, IBO Director.
After a successful launch last spring for the 1996 tax year, IBO has updated the Tax Receipt service for use by 1997 tax filers. The Tax Receipt service has received national recognition as an innovative governmental use of technology (see attached) and was recently showcased by the National League of Cities. It is the basis for the bipartisan Taxpayer-Right-To-Know-Act legislation (H.R. 2827) now pending in Congress, sponsored by Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Merrill Cook (R-UT).
Additional specialized Tax Receipts are also available on the same website for any New York State or New York City taxpayer, similarly listing how their state and local income taxes were spent.
Established in 1996 pursuant to the New York City Charter, IBO provides nonpartisan analysis to both elected officials and the public on fiscal and budgetary issues.