Local Government Publications

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

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)

November 2020 –

Local government sales tax revenue declined by 5.2 percent, or $74.4 million, in October compared to the same month in 2019. This drop was less severe than previous declines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the spring when collections fell by double-digits. New York City had a 5.3 percent, or $34.5 million, decline in revenue, and all but eight counties in the state saw drops in collections for October as well. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

November 2020 –

A review of the basic duties of a town supervisor with statutory references designed to assist the newly elected supervisor in becoming familiar with the structure of town government and the supervisor's role in it. This is also a publication useful to town board members and other town officials.
Updated November 2020 (Originally Issued January 2018)

October 2020 –

Participation in school district budget votes has been relatively low, particularly since the implementation of the tax cap. In response to the pandemic, school districts in New York State were required to provide all residents with an absentee ballot for the 2020-21 school budget vote. This new process likely contributed to an increase in participation: triple the number of votes were cast compared to the prior year. However, even with a slightly higher percentage of votes cast against the budgets, the ultimate results were similar to those of last year’s traditional voting process: nearly all budgets were approved on the first vote. For district-level information: http://wwe1.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/research-budget-votes/budget-votes.cfm.

October 2020 –

Statewide local sales tax collections in the third quarter of 2020 declined by 9.5 percent, or $452 million, over the same quarter in 2019. This decrease, while alarming in a typical year, was still a marked improvement from the 27.1 percent drop in the second quarter, which reflected the peak of the economic impact to date from the COVID-19 pandemic. New York City’s steep decline of nearly 22 percent in sales tax revenue was the main driver behind the overall drop in local government collections in the third quarter. Nearly every other region of the state saw at least some increase over the third quarter of 2019, although these increases were not as strong as in the pre-COVID first quarter. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

October 2020 –

New York State imposes a "general sales tax" at a single rate on most goods and some services. Counties and cities can impose their own local sales tax in addition to the State rate. Local sales tax revenue is a major part of local government finances, amounting to $16.9 billion in 2019. This report is an update to the Office of the State Comptroller’s March 2015 publication on local government sales taxes in New York State.

September 2020 –

This snapshot highlights the results for counties, cities, towns and villages that reported for local fiscal years ending (FYE) 2019. These scores, therefore, provide a baseline for local government fiscal preparedness in the period just prior to the pandemic. To provide additional context for these results, this snapshot also examines some of the biggest local government fiscal stress risk factors arising from the COVID-19 crisis.

September 2020 –

This snapshot highlights the results for counties, cities, towns and villages that reported for local fiscal years ending (FYE) 2019. These scores, therefore, provide a baseline for local government fiscal preparedness in the period just prior to the pandemic. To provide additional context for these results, this snapshot also examines some of the biggest local government fiscal stress risk factors arising from the COVID-19 crisis.

September 2020 –

Local government sales tax revenue declined by 7.8 percent, or $111 million, in August compared to the same month last year. This drop in revenue is similar to the overall decline in July of 8.2 percent, though much less extreme than the early months of the pandemic when sales tax collections plummeted by double digits. All but two counties in the state experienced decreases in overall collections for August, and New York City’s collections dropped by 7.1 percent. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

September 2020 –

In addition to policy development, this guide also includes practical discussions on establishing lodging, meal, and mileage rates; standardized travel forms; using credit cards and cash advances to pay for travel; extension of travel for personal reasons; travel expenses of spouses and other nonemployees; and other topics associated with the management of travel and conference expenses. We have also included information pertinent to volunteer firefighters and online training.

August 2020 –

The purpose of this Legislation is to relieve some of the financial stress experienced by local governments and school districts as a result of the State Disaster Emergency declared pursuant to Executive Order 202 of 2020 (State Disaster Emergency).

August 2020 –

Sales tax collections for local governments in July totaled $1.3 billion, or $116 million less than in July 2019. Although the month’s collections are down compared with last year, the decline is less steep than at any time since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect sales tax collections. Nearly every county in every region of the state saw decreases, and New York City experienced a 7.3 percent decline. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

July 2020 –

Sales tax revenue for local governments in the second quarter of 2020 totaled $3.3 billion, a decline of $1.2 billion compared to the same period last year. The second quarter drop came after a 4.6 percent increase in first quarter collections, the strength of which was partly due to better collection of taxes on internet sales from small, out-of-state merchants. However, within the second quarter, collections for the month of June showed some improvement in most regions with many upstate counties experiencing year-over-year growth. | Monthly and Quarterly Local Sales Tax Collections by Region [.xlsx]

July 2020 –

The report summarizes most recently completed data (fiscal year ending 2018) found in these annual reports. In addition to reviewing IDA data, the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) provides training to IDA officials on various topics, including recent legislative reforms and how to improve their compliance with reporting requirements. | Interactive Map

July 2020 –

Our State’s local governments are being tested on many fronts as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This report will examine some of the major risks to these revenue sources, the dependence of local governments on each, and the effects of federal government actions to help keep local governments afloat thus far.

June 2020 –

This guidance document discusses the importance of proper fiscal oversight by local and school district officials during these unprecedented times. It also identifies various revenues available under the CARES Act to local governments and school districts in New York State. Lastly, it addresses how CARES Act revenues and pandemic-related expenditures should be accounted for by local government and school district officials.
Updated July 2020 (Originally Issued June 2020)

June 2020 –

Sales tax revenue for local governments in May totaled $918 million, or $437 million less than 2019. The sharp decline in revenues was widespread around the state, ranging from a drop of 19.5 percent in Westchester County to a 41.5 percent decline in Tioga County. Nearly every county in every region of the state saw a large drop in overall collections. New York City experienced a 31.9 percent decline, amounting to $196 million in lost revenues for a single month.

May 2020 –

Plummeting sales tax collections were widespread, leaving counties, cities and some other local governments short by about $327 million compared to last year. Although the first quarter of 2020 was relatively strong, March sales tax collections had already begun to show the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown–a decrease of 3.7 percent statewide with the largest declines downstate. The April figures show shrinking revenues for local governments throughout the state.

April 2020 –

New York State local sales tax collections in the first quarter (January-March) of 2020 totaled $4.4 billion. This was an increase of 4.6 percent over the same period last year, mostly reflecting sales made before the statewide implementation of business and office closures and social distancing policies in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 2020 –

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide updated guidance to counties on accounting for Medicaid expenditures. This bulletin supersedes our November 2005 accounting bulletin entitled Medicaid Cap Update.