Local Government Publications

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

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)

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

June 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

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

Accounting Notices and Bulletins > Reporting, Revenues/Cash Management

June 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.

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 –

Model Code of Ethics for Local Governments

Guidance > Ethics

April 2021 –

Model Code of Ethics for Fire Districts

Guidance > Ethics

April 2021 –

Model Code of Ethics for Local Governments - Frequently Asked Questions

Guidance > Ethics

April 2021 –

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

Research Reports > Sales Tax

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]

Research Reports > Sales Tax

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]

Research Reports > Sales Tax

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]

Accounting Notices and Bulletins > Reporting

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.

Research Reports > Sales Tax

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]

Cost-Saving Ideas > Capital Projects, Debt

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)

Research Reports > Sales Tax

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.

Cost-Saving Ideas > Justice Court

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)