Spokane, Washington’s “budget calculator” is a great online tool that provides citizens with greater insight into city finances. Citizens can try their hand at piecing together the financial puzzle based on available funds and prioritizing city services. The calculator is just one feature of Spokane’s Priorities of Government program, used to formulate the city’s 2006 proposed budget. Citizens and anyone else with an interest in Spokane’s financial future can turn to the Budget section of the city’s web site to learn more about the seven key areas that were considered as funds were allocated.

Thumbs up to Spokane – a city that has been hampered with budget troubles – for increasing its accountability and helping citizens understand its financial plight through this online feature.