SHOW ME THE RECORDS: Financial trends and budgets for Columbia

Monday, January 24, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CST

You can learn a lot about your community, state and country. Open records help people keep government in check and help them better understand how government affects their lives.

Each week the Missourian will feature another open record. This week:

The records: The Columbia Finance Department provides financial reports for the city’s fiscal budget, financial trends covering 10 years, capital improvement plans and comprehensive annual financing reports.

Why you'd want them: By looking at files like the financial trend reports covering 10 years, you can find information about taxes – sales, property, local – as well as public safety spending and health and environment spending. The 10-year trends allow you to compare past and present taxing and spending.

Where you get the records: Go to, then download any of the following files: Budgets for individual fiscal years; 10-year trend manuals; capital improvement plans; and comprehensive annual financing reports.

How much will it cost: The information is free.

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