The most significant chunk of local budgets in California goes to pay government workers. Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting took on the task of gathering, examining and making public what we pay employees in California's 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities. We created a website for that information, Payday California (payday.cironline.org), adding important context to the data collected by the California State Controller's Office on as many as 700,000 city and county employees annually from 2009 through 2013. The website also features additional employee compensation records obtained through open records requests from the 10 largest counties and 10 largest cities in California. The data we requested from cities and counties was more detailed than that released by the state controller. It included employee names and more detailed pay categories. In addition, Reveal standardized job titles so that readers could better understand where their tax money was going. We also conducted statistical analyses to find communities that were clear outliers in how they paid employees.
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