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Following the Money 2012: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data

March 14, 2012

Assesses states' progress in offering comprehensive, one-stop access to searchable and downloadable databases of government spending via transparency 2.0 Web sites, including searchability, user-friendliness, breadth of data, and features such as mapping.

Tax-Increment Financing: The Need for Increased Transparency and Accountability in Local Economic Development Subsidies

October 11, 2011

Examines the risks to the public of creating tax-increment financing districts to encourage economic development. Proposes stronger guidelines for tax-increment financing program design, governance process, transparency, and developers' accountability.

Following the Money 2011: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data

March 16, 2011

Grades states' progress in launching or enhancing transparency 2.0 Web sites that provide comprehensive, one-stop access to searchable and downloadable databases of government spending. Outlines benefits such as savings, challenges, and recommendations.

Do Roads Pay for Themselves? Setting the Record Straight on Transportation Funding

December 31, 2010

Analyzes the history, political context, and future plausibility of the claim that highways pay for themselves through "user fees" such as gasoline taxes. Calls for investing in transportation systems based on comprehensive cost-benefit analyses.

A Track Record of Success: High-Speed Rail Around the World and Its Promise for America

November 10, 2010

Highlights the economic and transportation benefits of high-speed rail in Japan and Europe, including creating jobs, saving energy, protecting the environment, and encouraging sustainable land use and development. Details lessons for the United States.

Out of the Shadows: Massachusetts Quasi-Public Agencies and the Need for Budget Transparency

May 18, 2010

Examines the budget and operational information that utility, transportation, and other quasi-public agencies disclose, including online. Calls for higher transparency standards to increase efficiency and prevent corruption. Highlights best practices.

Road Work Ahead: Holding Government Accountable for Fixing America's Crumbling Roads and Bridges

April 28, 2010

Examines the poor maintenance of roads and bridges; their consequences, including costs; and underlying causes, including pressure from special interest groups and untargeted transportation policies. Recommends fixing existing infrastructure first.

Following the Money: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data

April 12, 2010

Grades states' efforts to provide public spending data through Web portals; lists the benefits of "transparency 2.0," including cost-efficient and targeted spending; and outlines best practices for comprehensive, one-stop, one-click searchable sites.

The Right Track: Building a 21st Century High-Speed Rail System for America

February 9, 2010

Provides an overview of U.S. investment in high-speed intercity passenger rail, its economic and environmental benefits, analyses by region, and key steps for building an efficient network, including balancing private investment with public safeguards.

Privatization and the Public Interest: The Need for Transparency and Accountability in Chicago's Public Asset Lease Deals

October 7, 2009

Examines the appeal and risks of infrastructure privatization and Chicago's history with privatization deals. Recommends public interest principles for future deals, rules and processes for vetting proposals, and a commitment to government transparency.

Private Roads, Public Costs: The Facts About Toll Road Privatization and How to Protect the Public

March 31, 2009

Provides an overview of trends in toll road privatization and discusses implications for the public, including loss of control, financial risk, and lack of transparency. Proposes principles that would protect the public interest in privatization deals.