Research Reports / Publications
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.
Local Authorities in New York State – An Overview [Released 04/09/15]
The State has approximately 639 local authorities operating outside of New York City. These authorities generally operate without many of the constraints and controls over day-to-day operations required of municipal governments. OSC audits have helped to shine a light on questionable practices from board member compensation to the selection and results of economic development projects. OSC continues to advocate for express audit authority over LDCs and other not-for-profit local authorities, better reporting requirements for all local authorities and legislation to achieve more transparent results. [read complete Local Authorities in New York State - pdf]
Local Governmemt Sales Taxes in New York State: 2015 Update [Released 03/24/15]
The sales tax generates 8 percent of all local government revenues in New York State and 27 percent of county revenues. This report examines the general sales and use tax imposed for local governments in the State. It covers the sales tax rates in counties and cities, and trends in sales tax revenues for local governments. It also includes an up-to-date county-level summary of sales tax sharing arrangements and discusses recent activity in the taxation of Internet sales. [read complete Local Governmemt Sales Taxes in New York State: 2015 Update - pdf]
OSC provides numerous publications for use by local government officials and others interested in government issues and finance.
Fiscal Stress Monitoring Summary Results: Common Themes for School Districts [Released 01/29/15]
The districts experiencing fiscal stress are spread across the State. One indicator in particular—the operating deficit—saw substantial changes in the FSMS points assigned compared to the previous year: 19 percent received a higher FSMS score on this indicator, while 28 percent scored lower. Changes in scores for this indicator contributed to changes in districts’ overall levels of fiscal stress. [read complete Summary Results report - pdf]
2014 Annual Report on Local Governments [01/15]
Although some of our key economic indicators suggest improvement in the economic climate, the pressure on local governments to do more with less persists. The following report highlights the very difficult fiscal environment under which local officials are expected to fulfill their obligations to the people they serve, as well as outlining the significant steps OSC is taking to assist in these efforts. [read complete 2014 Annual Report - pdf]