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Knowing How Tax Dollars Are Spent

February 22, 2008
The Intelligencer
When state Auditor Glen B. Gainer III first began providing detailed information about compensation paid to West Virginia state employees last year, he came under some fire from those who thought their pay was nobody’s business.

It is, of course, because taxpayers, directly or indirectly, provide every cent of compensation paid to state employees. It certainly is our business to know, for example, that Gov. Joe Manchin was paid $94,999.92 last year. Just as important as knowing how much state officials are paid is having information about rank-and-file public employees, such as the Tax Division clerk who was paid $38,657.53 last year, or the part-time Department of Education accountant who received $23,909.88.

Gainer’s office has posted the employee compensation list on its Web site,, again this year — but with improvements. The list now is searchable, by individuals and agencies.

We commend Gainer for doing his part to, as Manchin would put it, make government “transparent.” The information being provided is important; Gainer is doing a service to those of us who, again, pay the bills.

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