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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.

2010
October 2010 - Sales Tax Collections Continue to Rebound: Uneven Recovery Across New York

Local Government Snapshot: October 2010 - Sales Tax Collections Continue to Rebound: Uneven Recovery Across New York [Released 10/28/10]

Local sales tax collections, including New York City’s, increased by 10.5 percent during the first three quarters of 2010, compared to a 9.0 percent decline in the same period the year before. Adjusting for tax increases in New York City and Nassau County, the growth in sales tax collections to date in 2010 has been about 6 percent. [read complete October 2010 report - pdf]


August 2010 - Helping New York Families With the Cost of School Supplies

Local Government Snapshot: August 2010 - Helping New York Families With the Cost of School Supplies: Is It Time to Go “Back to School” on Back-to-School? [Released 08/25/10]

New Yorkers plan to spend up to $192 million for back-to-school supplies this year, with approximately 64 percent of this spending ($123 million) driven by school supply lists from their children’s schools. [read complete August 2010 report - pdf]


July 2010 - Signs of Recovery?

Local Government Snapshot: July 2010 - Signs of Recovery? Stabilizing Economy, Tax Increases Help Local Sales Tax Collections [Released 07/16/10]

Local sales tax collections, including New York City, increased by 10.6 percent during the first half of 2010 compared to the same period the year before. About half of this growth is due to sales tax rate increases and the extension of the sales tax to additional items. [read complete July 2010 report - pdf]


June 2010 - The Changing Manufacturing Sector in Upstate New York

Local Government Issues in Focus: June 2010 - The Changing Manufacturing Sector in Upstate New York: Opportunities for Growth [Released 06/17/10]

Mirroring a nationwide trend, New York State has been losing manufacturing jobs over the past several decades. However, the remaining manufacturing base contains some bright spots that demonstrate the potential for an economic resurgence in New York. [read complete manufacturing report - pdf]


June 2010 - Upstate/Downstate: New York’s Diverging Housing Market

Local Government Snapshot: June 2010 - Upstate/Downstate: New York’s Diverging Housing Market [Released 06/08/10]

The decline in home sales and the increase in foreclosures in New York State both appear to have leveled off by the beginning of 2010. Despite these recent improvements, the housing market is still performing significantly below 2006 pre-crisis levels, with property values declining significantly in Long Island and the Hudson Valley regions. [read complete June report - pdf]


May 2010 - Municipal Strategies for Managing Debt Service Costs

Local Government Snapshot: May 2010 - Municipal Strategies for Managing Debt Service Costs [Released 05/21/10]

As local governments address fiscal challenges posed by stagnant or declining State and local revenues, increased demand for social services and growing fixed costs, local government officials should be mindful of the impact that budget decisions can have on the cost of borrowing. These costs can increase significantly if prudent budget decisions are not made within the context of multiyear capital planning. [read complete May report - pdf]


May 2010 - State Budget Delay: Impact on Local Governments and School Districts

Local Government Snapshot: May 2010 - State Budget Delay: Impact on Local Governments and School Districts [Released 05/17/10]

With the 2010-11 State Budget now six weeks late, local governments and school districts are struggling to budget and plan for the upcoming year. Under these circumstances, there is the distinct possibility that aid payments will be delayed and some localities may have to resort to short-term borrowing until they get paid by the State. [read complete 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 05/06/10]

Over the last several years, OSC has increased its oversight of IDA operations through audits and performance reports. The Comptroller also began suspending State tax exemption powers for IDAs that failed to file financial reports. Additionally, the Public Authorities Reform Act that became effective in March 2010, will further enhance IDA transparency by requiring additional reporting on governance, operating structure and financial condition. [read complete IDA report - pdf] | [IDA Projects in 2008 - .xls]


Local Government Sales Taxes: 2010 Update

Local Government Sales Taxes: 2010 Update [Released 04/01/10]

The report is an update to a report on the sales tax first issued in 2006, "Local Government Sales Taxes in New York State." The report highlights new issues related to this important revenue source, including the potential impact of the upcoming 2010 Decennial Census on the share of tax revenues flowing to individual governments. [read complete Sales Tax report - pdf]


March 2010 - Number of Local Governments in New York

Local Government Snapshot: March 2010 - Number of Local Governments in New York [Released 03/26/10]

According to Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) records, there are currently 4,172 local government entities in New York. These include over 1,600 county, city, town and village governments, as well as 697 school districts and 872 fire districts. The nearly 1,000 other local government entities include libraries, community colleges, industrial development agencies and consolidated health districts, among others. [read complete March report - pdf]


March 2010 - New York’s Dairy Industry in Crisis

Local Government Snapshot: March 2010 - New York’s Dairy Industry in Crisis [Released 03/02/10]

New York’s dairy farms are a vital part of the upstate economy. Dairy industry losses in local communities have a ripple effect throughout their economies, negatively impacting local businesses that provide supplies or services to dairy farms, and the property and sales tax base. [read complete dairy report - pdf]


February 2010 - County Sales Tax: 2009 Collections and Implications for 2010

Local Government Snapshot: February 2010 - County Sales Tax: 2009 Collections and Implications for 2010

County sales tax collections (not including New York City) declined by 5.9 percent in 2009 compared to 2008. Fifty-three of 57 counties had sales tax declines. [read complete county sales report - pdf] | [view County Sales Tax Collections 2007-2009 - Including New York City - pdf]


January 2010 - Chokepoints: New York's Deteriorating Bridgest

Local Government Snapshot: January 2010 - Chokepoints: New York's Deteriorating Bridges

The recent closure of the Lake Champlain Bridge in Essex County (also known as the Crown Point Bridge) highlights the importance of New York's bridges to the regional economies in which they are located. Currently, there are 93 bridges in use in New York State with a safety rating at or below that given to the Lake Champlain Bridge prior to its closure. [read complete January report - pdf] | [view bridges in use with a safety rating at or below 3.375 - pdf]