State Auditor Leslie Merritt announced that his department will take the lead in tracking federal and state grant money being funneled through local governments to non-profits. He estimates that roughly $180 million in tax dollars are handled this way. Merritt had this to say:
“OSA’s new initiative should confirm whether my suspicions are true that both the State and local governments believe that the other is monitoring the $13 Billion in grants, but neither is doing much monitoring,”
That’s right – $13 Billion in grants (federal and state dollars) go to local governments. Of this $13 billion, $4.1 is federal dollars, and $8.8 billion is state tax dollars (FY2006 figures). Far and away the largest recipient of grant money are local boards of education, with a total of $6.7 billion in state dollars. It should be a bit concerning to North Carolina taxpayers that so much of their money is being disbursed with such little oversight. Kudos to the Auditor for making an attempt to bring some additional transparency into how our tax dollars are spent.