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Office of the State Comptroller - Local Government & School Accountability

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.

2009
School Districts and the Stimulus

Local Government Snapshot: School Districts and the Stimulus "Cliff" [Released 12/09]

School districts across New York state, including New York City, face a potential funding gap of at least $2 billion when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding runs out in 2011-12 unless federal aid is renewed or replaced by State aid. [read complete December report - pdf] | [view a district-by-district breakdown of ARRA funding - .xls]


Shared Services Among New York's Local Governments Best Practices and Tips for Success

Research Brief: Shared Services Among New York's Local Governments Best Practices and Tips for Success [Released 11/09]

The report reinforces the importance of cooperation and consolidation in achieving local cost efficiencies, especially during these times of fiscal uncertainty. The report also provides tips to local officials interested in exploring greater degrees of cooperation with other local governments, promotes further exploration of service delivery on a regional basis and lists many resources available on these topics. [read complete Shared Services report - pdf]


“Cash for Clunkers” Helps but New York Local Sales Tax Collections Still Declining

Local Government Snapshot: “Cash for Clunkers” Helps but New York Local Sales Tax Collections Still Declining [Released 11/09]

The Cash for Clunkers program helped increase county sales tax collections from auto dealerships across New York State by $17.1 million. However, overall county sales tax collections still declined by 7.2 percent for the first nine months of 2009. [read complete November report - pdf]


Sales Tax Declines Through July 2009

Local Government Snapshot: Sales Tax Declines Through July 2009 [Released 08/09]

This first issue of the Local Government Snapshot series highlights recent declines in county and city sales tax collections. Down 8.9 percent during the first seven months of 2009, sales tax revenues will be closely watched as the back-to-school shopping season approaches. [read complete August report - pdf]


Cracks in the Foundation: Local Government Infrastructure and Capital Planning Needs

Research Brief: Cracks in the Foundation: Local Government Infrastructure and Capital Planning Needs [Released 08/09]

The report analyzes historical trends in local capital spending and the current condition of our local infrastructure. It suggests some important steps that the State and local governments need to take to improve capital planning within New York and some policy options that could help sustain investment in the State's infrastructure. [read complete Capital Planning report - pdf]


Cost-Saving and Cost-Containment Strategies for New York State's Local Governments

Research Brief: Cost-Saving and Cost-Containment Strategies for New York State's Local Governments [Released 06/09]

The report provides a number of ideas and explains efforts undertaken by various municipal officials or identified through audits conducted by OSC that are applicable to most local governments and that address costs that are under local control. [read complete Strategies report - pdf]


Annual Performance Report on New York State's Industrial Development Agencies

Annual Performance Report on New York State's Industrial Development Agencies [Released 02/09]

The publication reviews the annual financial reports from 115 Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) and found that while the number of IDA projects and the project amounts increased between 2006 and 2007, the total number of jobs created declined by more than 2,000 jobs and the cost to create a job increased from $4,195 in 2006 to $4,527 in 2007. [read complete IDA report - pdf]