Local Government Publications

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

April 2021 –

Model Code of Ethics for Local Governments

April 2021 –

Model Code of Ethics for Local Governments - Frequently Asked Questions

April 2021 –

Model Code of Ethics for Fire Districts

April 2021 –

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

April 2021 –

Local government sales tax collections declined by 3.9 percent, or $173 million, in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year. This is the fourth quarter in a row that collections have dropped year-over-year. However, it is an improvement over the past three quarters. Collections in every region of the State outside of New York City increased over the first quarter of 2020, ranging from 2.4 percent in the Southern Tier to 9.8 percent in the North Country. New York City’s collections decreased by 13.2 percent in the first quarter, which nevertheless represents an improvement compared to the declines in the previous three quarters. During the past 12 months, statewide local collections have dropped by 11.8 percent or $2.2 billion. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

March 2021 –

Overall sales tax collections for local governments decreased by 4.2 percent, or $55 million, in February compared to the same month in 2020. Revenues continued to shrink, but the decline last month was less steep than in January (5.9 percent) and December (8.4 percent), and the double-digit drops in collections during the earlier months of the pandemic. All regions in the state experienced collection declines for February, ranging from 0.4 percent in the Mohawk Valley to 11.4 percent in the Finger Lakes. New York City had a decrease of 3.8 percent, down $23 million compared to February 2020. For the past twelve months (March 2020 - February 2021), collections are down $2.2 billion, or 12 percent, compared to the same twelve months ending February 2020. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

February 2021 –

Local government sales tax collections declined by 5.9 percent, or $95 million, in January compared to the same month in 2020. The decline is less steep than the 8.4 percent drop in December and not nearly as significant as the double-digit declines in the earlier months of the pandemic (April-June). All but one region – Central New York – in the state experienced a decrease in cash collections; New York City had a 6 percent, or $45 million, decline compared to January 2020. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

February 2021 –

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide accounting guidance to counties for Medicaid-related intergovernmental transfers (IGTs). Medicaid-related IGTs are funds that are transferred from counties that own or operate health-related facilities (e.g. hospitals, nursing homes, mental health clinics, etc.) to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). These funds, along with the funds provided by the federal government, are used to fund the Medicaid payments made by the NYSDOH directly to the counties.

February 2021 –

New York State local sales tax collections declined by 10 percent (or $1.8 billion) in 2020 compared to 2019, due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. New York City, which was hit earliest and hardest by the pandemic, saw its collections decline by 18.7 percent in 2020, while counties outside the City saw an average drop of only -0.9 percent.

February 2021 –

When preparing your annual operating budget for a water or sewer district, consider setting aside money in a capital or repair reserve fund to be used for future capital projects or certain repair costs. Planning today and saving incrementally can help reduce the financial impact of such expenses on your annual budget.

Establishing and funding allowable reserve funds for a specific intended purpose can smooth out spikes in both expenditures and revenues. Saving for future capital needs can also reduce or eliminate interest and debt issuance costs.
Updated February 2021 (Originally Issued January 2016)

February 2021 –

New York State local sales tax collections declined by 10 percent (or $1.8 billion) in 2020 compared to 2019, due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. New York City, which was hit earliest and hardest by the pandemic, saw its collections decline by 18.7 percent in 2020, while counties outside the City saw an average drop of only -0.9 percent. The pandemic also caused a dramatic shift in consumer spending during the spring and summer months. One change was a significant increase in online purchases. Meanwhile, the state’s recent ability to tax sales made by smaller out-of-state sellers to New York residents – referred to as “marketplace and nexus vendors” – bolstered local sales tax collections. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

January 2021 –

The financing of justice courts is a local responsibility and maintaining a court may pose administrative and financial challenges. As a result, there is growing interest by citizens and local governments to explore consolidation of justice courts, when practicable. In these cases, towns and villages should consider consolidating their justice courts. Benefits of consolidation include, but are not limited to, maximizing services by pooling resources and streamlining the court system by centralizing services.

This resource document provides a step-by-step breakdown of the consolidation process and outlines some of the relevant issues.
Updated January 2021 (Originally Issued January 2017)

January 2021 –

This snapshot highlights the FSMS results for school districts that reported for school fiscal year (SY) 2019-20, which ended on June 30, 2020, which included the period of the statewide mandatory school shutdown from March 18 through the end of the school year. The snapshot also discusses some of the major fiscal stress risk factors posed by the pandemic for school districts in SY 2020-21 (not yet scored).

January 2021 –

This snapshot highlights the FSMS results for school districts that reported for school fiscal year (SY) 2019-20, which ended on June 30, 2020, which included the period of the statewide mandatory school shutdown from March 18 through....

January 2021 –

State contracts can provide many necessities for local governments and school districts like road salt, fuel, vehicles, heavy equipment, food, furniture, computer hardware and software, and much more. Goods and service contracts fall into three general categories: commodities, service and technology. Capitalizing on the State's buying power and expertise may result in lower prices and better quality goods and services.
Updated January 2021 (Originally Issued January 2016)

January 2021 –

Providing for sound cash management assures that investments are optimized for the best possible return for taxpayers.
Updated January 2021 (Originally Issued January 2016)

December 2020 –

The guide has been written is a resource for those governing bodies and officials who are responsible for the audit of claims. It is also the hope that the information contained in the guide will be valuable to new board members and inexperienced claims auditors. The guide provides a foundation of knowledge that users can build upon as they gain experience auditing claims.

December 2020 –

Local government sales tax collections declined by 7.1 percent, or $102 million, in November compared to the same month in 2019. The decline is steeper than in October, but not as bad as the double-digit declines in the earlier months (April-June) of the pandemic. All but five counties saw declines in overall collections in November, and New York City had a 6.5 percent, or $45 million, decline. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

December 2020 –

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform local government and school district officials of the upcoming new requirements regarding the classification of leases for accounting and reporting purposes, as required by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 87, Leases (Statement 87). This bulletin explains the GASB’s new definition of a lease (including outlining the types of leases that are excluded by this new standard) and an explanation of what a lease term is per Statement 87. | Reasonably Certain Template [.xlsx]

November 2020 –

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide guidance on identifying fiduciary activities for accounting and financial reporting purposes and how local governments and school districts will need to account for and report these activities in the Annual Update Document (AUD) and the ST-3.
Updated November 2020 (Originally Issued March 2020)