Tax Supported Organizations should be 100% transparent - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Consider This...Tax Supported Organizations should be 100% transparent

The attorney general has ruled in an open records case started by a KCBD investigation.

At issue were records from a tax-funded organization, the North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation. It was created to help spur economic development in those areas of town.

Expense information was first requested in October of 2013 because executive director of this group, also a city employee, said the NELCDC was in financial trouble and its liabilities could become the burden of taxpayers.

Now the attorney general has ruled that NELCDC is a "governmental body" to the extent that it is supported by public funds. That means certain information we requested must be released. Now we may soon get an idea of exactly how they are spending our money.

The bad news is the attorney general also said they didn't have to release expense records that were not directly paid for with public funds. So I can only assume that the NELCDC gets to decide which expenses are paid for with public funds. How convenient!

Consider this:

I disagree with this decision. If any organization is willing to request any amount of tax dollars, they should be required to open all of their books. For example, our county hospital, University Medical Center, only receives 4.1% of it's budget from county taxpayers. yet 100% of their expenses are public. I just don't see how this is any different.

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'Consider This' is a commentary by KCBD Vice-President and General Manager Dan Jackson.

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