Local Government Publications

Search Audits for reports on municipalities and school districts dating back to 2014.

Research Reports > Sales Tax

November 2021 –

Statewide local government sales tax collections in October totaled more than $1.5 billion, an increase of 12.9 percent (or $175 million) compared to the same month in 2020. This growth continued the trend of monthly collections since April exceeding 2020 results. Strong local sales tax performance in October reflects weakened collections during the same month in 2020, when many parts of the state were still adversely impacted by the pandemic. That said, October 2021 total collections were fairly strong even when compared to the figures reported during pre-pandemic levels, up 7 percent (or $101 million) over October of 2019. Nearly every county outside of New York City saw year-over-year collections for October grow by double digits, while New York City’s sales taxes increased by 8.3 percent or over $51 million. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Research Reports > Reporting

November 2021 –

This report highlights the results of the 2020 Census for local governments in New York State and accompanies a new online interactive map that provides census population statistics by age, race and ethnicity, along with housing trends, for each city, county, town and village statewide. | Interactive Census Dashboard

Accounting Notices and Bulletins > Reporting

November 2021 –

This bulletin provides updated guidance related to accounting for retained percentages for governmental and proprietary funds in fund level financial records. It also updates previous accounting guidance based on the current standards for liability recognition and measurement and it also establishes a new retained percentages account code.
Updated November 2021 (Previously Updated May 2017)

Research Reports > Sales Tax

October 2021 –

Local government sales tax collections totaled nearly $5.2 billion in the third quarter of 2021, up $861 million (20 percent) compared to the same period last year. Every region in the State, including New York City, experienced robust growth in sales tax revenue. When compared to pre-pandemic levels, statewide local collections grew by 8.6 percent ($409 million) this past quarter over the same period in 2019. In fact, the third quarter marked the fifth quarter in a row that county and city sales tax receipts outside of New York City met or exceeded 2019 pre-pandemic levels for the same period. New York City collections have been recovering more slowly since the second quarter of 2020, but its sales tax revenue has nearly reached pre-pandemic levels. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Guidance > Claims Auditing/Credit Cards, Purchasing

October 2021 –

Effective August 1, 2012, a new subdivision 16 was added to General Municipal Law (GML) § 103 to authorize political subdivisions and districts therein to purchase apparatus, materials, equipment and supplies, and to contract for services related to the installation, maintenance or repair of those items, through the use of contracts let by the United States or any agency thereof, any state or any other political subdivision or district therein. The contract must be made available for use by other governmental entities.
Updated October 2021 (Originally Issued July 2016)

Research Reports > Revenues/Cash Management, Sales Tax

October 2021 –

The case studies described in this report provide insight into some of the fiscal challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presented to individual local governments in 2020. OSC staff conducted interviews and financial analysis in late fall 2020, choosing the Mid-Hudson region as the geographical focus. The City of Peekskill, the Town of Cornwall and the Village of New Paltz agreed to participate in the study. Each had its own unique experience in 2020, but each also shows some of the typical problems facing local governments throughout the region and the State.

Accounting Notices and Bulletins > Reporting, Revenues/Cash Management

October 2021 –

This guidance document expands upon the importance of proper fiscal oversight, as discussed in our July 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Information bulletin. It also identifies the main source of revenues available under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act to local governments and school districts in NYS. Lastly, it addresses how local government and school district officials should account for CRRSA Act and ARP Act revenues and pandemic-related expenditures.
Updated October 2021 (Originally Issued June 2021)

Research Reports > Fiscal Stress

September 2021 –

This snapshot highlights the results for counties, cities, towns and villages that reported for local fiscal years ending (FYE) 2020. These scores, therefore, reflect the partial-year impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations for most local governments.

Accounting Notices and Bulletins > Payroll/Employee Benefits, Reporting, Revenues/Cash Management

September 2021 –

Read the frequently asked questions and answers document on GASB Statement 84. A useful tool for both local government and school district officials. | Accounting and Financial Reporting for Fiduciary Activities as Required by GASB Statement 84
Revised September 2021 (Originally Issued June 2021)

Research Reports > Sales Tax

September 2021 –

Local government sales tax collections in August increased by 15.5 percent, or $204 million, over the same month in 2020, making it the fifth month in a row that collections exceeded 2020 results. The double-digit growth in local sales taxes reflects the fact that collections during August of 2020 were fairly weak as sales activity was recovering in certain parts of the state from the early effects of the pandemic. Still, August 2021 total collections were strong even by comparison with pre-pandemic levels, growing 6.5 percent, or nearly $93 million, over August of 2019. Every county outside of New York City saw year-over-year collections for August grow by double digits, while New York City’s collections increased by 7.9 percent or over $45 million. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Research Reports > Sales Tax

August 2021 –

Local government sales taxes in July totaled close to $1.6 billion, up $276 million or 21.2 percent over the same month in 2020, marking the fourth consecutive month that collections have surged. July’s significant growth in local sales taxes reflects the fact that collections in the same month of 2020 were quite weak, with sales activity that was still recovering from the first wave of the pandemic. However, collections were also strong even by comparison with pre-pandemic 2019, growing 11.2 percent, or $159 million, over July of that year. New York City’s collections totaled $649 million, an increase of 14.2 percent or $81 million compared to July 2020, and all other counties saw year-over-year collections for July grow by double digits. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Accounting and Reporting Manuals (ARMs) > Budgeting, Reporting

August 2021 –

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) has compiled this manual as a comprehensive accounting guide for school district officials and others interested in accounting by school districts in New York State. It provides an overview of generally accepted governmental accounting and financial reporting principles, and OSC's interpretations of such principles, where pronouncements are silent or do not address problems common among school districts within New York State.

Research Reports > Sales Tax

July 2021 –

Local sales tax collections in New York State grew by 49.2 percent, or just over $1.6 billion, in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year, a dramatic increase from last year’s weak collections during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, when compared to pre-pandemic levels, the second quarter of 2021 was still strong – up 8.7 percent, or $396 million, above the same period in 2019. In addition, the first full "sales tax year" for which both the State’s economic nexus policy and marketplace provision were in effect generated an estimated $686 million in local sales tax revenue from March 2020 through February 2021. Of that total, $431 million was from sales made outside of New York City and $255 million by sales made inside the City. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Local Government Management Guides > Information Technology, Inventories

July 2021 –

The purpose of this guidance is to provide a basic overview of wireless technology and security. There are a number of steps that local governments and school districts can take to help mitigate the risks of wireless technology. Although wireless environments and their related security systems can be quite complex, a government personnel can implement effective controls with relative ease and without incurring additional cost.
Updated July 2021 (Originally Issued January 2016)

Research Reports > Debt, Reporting

June 2021 –

This report summarizes data for fiscal year 2019, the most recent data reported by IDAs through the Public Authorities Reporting Information System (PARIS). The report also contains a brief discussion of local development corporations (LDCs), a related type of local authority. | Interactive Map

Research Reports > Sales Tax

June 2021 –

Local sales tax collections in May increased by 57.8 percent, or $530 million, over the same month in 2020, the highest one month increase in recent history. The extraordinary growth in monthly local sales taxes was largely due to the fact that May 2020 collections were especially low, having declined by 32.3 percent during the worst part of the first wave of the pandemic. Nevertheless, collections last month were relatively strong even compared to pre-pandemic numbers, rising 6.9 percent, or $93 million, over May 2019. Every county outside of New York City saw year-over-year collections for May grow by double digits, while New York City’s collections increased by 51.4 percent or $216 million. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Research Reports > Sales Tax

May 2021 –

Local government sales taxes in April grew by 45.7 percent (or $464 million) over the same month in 2020. Much of this spike in monthly collections over last year reflects the extremely weak collections experienced by every region of the state in April 2020, when many businesses were closed. Even so, statewide local sales taxes last month appear quite strong: when comparing April 2021 to April 2019 (before the pandemic), they increased significantly, up 10.2 percent or $137 million. All counties except Oswego County saw their year-over-year collections for April grow by a wide margin, while New York City's collections increased by 39.6 percent or $186 million. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Annual Reports > Debt, Revenues/Cash Management, Sales Tax

May 2021 –

The following Report on Local Governments provides a summary analysis of the financial state of the local governments outside of New York City for local fiscal years ending in 2019. | NYS Local Government Interactive Data

Guidance > Ethics

April 2021 –

New York State General Municipal Law, Sections 800–809: Conflicts of Interest of Municipal Officers and Employees

Guidance > Ethics

April 2021 –

Model Code of Ethics for Local Governments - Frequently Asked Questions