Akshan Ish  -  Munich, Germany


ENGAGEMENT: How might we… give citizens more say in local affairs?

Taxes aren't arbitrary – they are hard-earned money. The public must know how tax money is utilised and why.

CitizensPay is a public engagement tool that gives citizens more say in actively shaping the public projects that are carried out in their communities, by directly contributing to them with a proportion of their tax.

Proposed projects are tracked on the CitizensPay web portal, where the local governing council explains the purpose of the project, and the budget and timeframe required, in order to get public funding. You can explore projects in your neighbourhood by category, or topic of interest, and see what your friends and those you follow are funding.

Your profile page shows your available taxes to allocate, updates on local issues you care about, insights on projects you’re funding, and the progress of projects you’re funding.

Projects are only undertaken if they reach the funding goal set by the local authority. If you do not believe a certain project should be undertaken, you can choose to downvote it. If the number of downvotes exceeds a given threshold, a public committee is called to mediate.

Although you directly fund a part of projects, the actual cost is much higher than the amount shown on CitizensPay. This remainder is paid for by local authorities, using the remainder of individual citizen’s taxes that you cannot personally allocate.

To prevent people or institutions from only funding projects that are in their interest, each member can only contribute a minimum of €25 and maximum of €75 to a project.