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Publications: Research Reports

Since 2003, the Division has been using the information OSC collects from local governments to produce research reports on major policy issues facing local governments and state policy-makers. Published under the Issues in Focus series, as brief bulletins on hot topics or as stand-alone reports, these publications help inform the public policy debate with data and analysis.

2008
Local Government Issues in Focus - Meltdown: The Housing Crisis and its Impact on New York States Local Governments

Local Government Issues in Focus - Meltdown: The Housing Crisis and its Impact on New York State’s Local Governments [Released 11/08]

Compared with other states, particularly those in the South and West, significantly fewer subprime loans were issued in New York, although there are areas within the State where subprime mortgages were utilized more frequently. However, the number of home foreclosures in New York is increasing as more homeowners are faced with mortgages of all types that they can no longer afford. [read complete subprime report - pdf]


Research Brief: The Credit Crunch: Implications for Local Government Short-Term Debt

Research Brief: The Credit Crunch: Implications for Local Government Short-Term Debt [Released 11/08]

The current global financial market crisis could have serious implications for New York's local governments if access to the credit markets remains constrained. Local governments who are dependent on short-term debt for these purposes could face continued risks. [read complete Credit Crunch report - pdf]


New York State County Sales Tax Collections by Region

New York State County Sales Tax Collections by Region [Released 07/08]

Sales taxes are an important source of revenue for New York State's local governments. This revenue stream has helped local governments cope with the rising cost of providing services and mitigate property tax increases. Sales tax revenues now exceed the real property tax as the largest revenue source for counties. [read complete county sales tax report - pdf]


Local Government Issues in Focus: GASB 45

Local Government Issues in Focus: GASB 45 [Released 05/08]

Under new accounting standards issued by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB), many state and local governments nationwide are required to report liabilities for these "other post-employment benefits" (OPEB) similarly to the way they report pension liabilities. This is not a new liability. What is new is the requirement that governments accurately and fully disclose those commitments. [read complete GASB 45 report - pdf]


Research Brief: Green Best Practices

Research Brief: Green Best Practices [Released 04/08]

Many municipalities are investigating opportunities to reduce energy costs by improving energy efficiency. Simultaneously, many municipalities are undertaking efforts to minimize their impact on global climate change by purchasing or providing clean and reliable energy through alternative sources of renewable energy. [read complete Green Best Practices report - pdf]


Performance of Industrial Development Agencies

Performance of Industrial Development Agencies [Released 02/08]

The report provides an overview of financial and employment trends of the 116 active Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) in New York State. The analysis of the data, as reported to OSC by each IDA, suggests that additional measures to improve the transparency and accountability of IDA operations are needed. Therefore, OSC will work to strengthen oversight and reporting under existing statutory powers and intends to work with the Governor's Office and the Legislature to expand oversight of all IDAs and local development corporations (LDCs). [read complete IDA report - pdf]


Research Brief: 21st Century State Aid Formulas: Revenue Sharing

Research Brief: 21st Century State Aid Formulas: Revenue Sharing [Released 02/08]

Originally, State-local revenue sharing was designed to provide multipurpose local governments (particularly those with municipal responsibilities) with flexible, predictable unrestricted State aid. During the State fiscal crisis of the early 1990s, revenue sharing was cut dramatically. Subsequently, aid increases were targeted primarily to cities. These funding decisions ignored the changing role of municipalities - regardless of their designation - in our increasingly outdated municipal structures. This report looks at urban villages as one type of municipal government that has been impacted by these historic designations. [read complete Revenue Sharing report - pdf]