Local Government Publications

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

June 2019 –

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide updated account code guidance for school districts recording contributions to the New York State and Local Employee Retirement System (ERS) and to the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS).

May 2019 –

In 2017, the State’s 109 active Industrial Development Agencies reported projects valued at $98.1 billion, with over $750 million in net annual tax exemptions and $8.0 billion in total debt outstanding, including conduit and other debt. They supported 4,385 projects that produced a net total of 198,522 jobs gained since their inception through 2017. | Interactive Map

May 2019 –

Broadly speaking, Long Island residents enjoy a high quality of life, reflected in high median incomes, relatively low unemployment and crime rates, strong public schools, numerous higher education opportunities and many cultural and natural recreational activities. However, the region's population and economic growth comes with challenges, such as traffic congestion and high property taxes.

March 2019 –

Statewide, foreclosure filings fell by 46 percent between 2013 and 2018. Foreclosure rates are highest in the Long Island and the Mid- Hudson regions. Only four counties— Clinton, Putnam, Rockland, and Suffolk— have a foreclosure rate over 1 percent. Other stakeholders are pursuing efforts to reduce harm to local governments and communities caused by “zombie properties.”

March 2019 –

The following guidance is intended to make the oversight of information technology less daunting by providing a template for understanding and strengthening controls over IT.

January 2019 –

Local sales tax collections in New York State were $17.5 billion in 2018, a 5.3 percent increase over the previous calendar year and the third consecutive year that growth in collections improved. Certain economic factors may be contributing to this improvement--more than 62,000 additional New York residents were employed in 2018, total wages for the first two quarters increased by nearly 5.7 percent compared to the same period in the prior year, consumer confidence has remained high and consumer spending has been mostly steady throughout the year.

January 2019 –

The 2018 Annual Report on Local Governments 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.

January 2019 –

This report summarizes results of school district scores for the 2017-18 school fiscal year (SY) and compares results to SY 2016- 17.

January 2019 –

The handbook for Town and Village Justices and Court Clerks is to assist in fulfilling the financial reporting requirements of the Town and Village courts. This publication may be requested in hardcopy from the Justice Court Fund by calling 518-473-6438 or 518-473-6830.

December 2018 –

Local governments or public authorities own 20 of the State’s 27 municipal solid waste landfills, the type of landfills that take in most of what we typically think of as “garbage”—residential, commercial and institutional waste. This report examines the role of local governments in solid waste management, with particular attention to the issues they confront as municipal solid waste landfill owners.

September 2018 –

The Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS) annually assesses fiscal stress in local governments and school districts. This report summarizes the fiscal and environmental results of all 1,589 New York counties, cities, towns and villages for their fiscal years ending in 2017.

August 2018 –

Local sales tax collections in New York State for the first half of 2018 were $8.5 billion, a 6.0 percent increase over the same period last year. This was the highest half-year increase since 2010, growing in every region of the State compared to the first half of 2017. Factors that may have influenced this include the lowest unemployment rate in over a decade, steady wage growth in the first half of 2018 and high consumer confidence.

July 2018 –

This bulletin provides information regarding the accounting treatment for other post-employment benefits (OPEB) and guidance on how local governments and school districts can comply with the new standards in the Annual Update Document (AUD) and ST-3.

July 2018 –

A number of laws govern the procurement of goods and services. Seeking competition guards against favoritism, extravagance, fraud and corruption. However, there is a well-established exception to these competitive bidding requirements for professional services, such as those rendered by attorneys, engineers or accountants, where cost is only one element that a responsible local official would want to consider. This report discusses some categories of professional services, the costs associated with these services and recent audit findings by OSC about local procurement policies and their implementation. The report also highlights best practices that local governments and school districts can follow that may reduce costs. 

July 2018 –

The Mohawk Valley Region’s dominant economic center is the Utica-Rome metropolitan area. Unemployment and child poverty rates are higher in the Region than for the State as a whole, while household income is below the State median. While the Region has lost industries and employers over the past couple of decades, there has recently been a modest increase in new manufacturing jobs. Also, the City of Utica has harnessed its surplus of affordable housing by reaching out to refugees to come and establish families and businesses in the area.

July 2018 –

Read the Frequently Asked Questions on GASB 75 & OPEB.

July 2018 –

This booklet contains the suggested application and legal notice form for an exclusion of certain sewer debt from a municipality’s Constitutional debt limit.

June 2018 –

New York State has over 5,000 functioning dams, 861 of which are owned or co-owned by local governments. Local officials need to manage this infrastructure effectively, not only to preserve important capital assets, but also because it is a necessary investment in public safety. This report focuses on those dams that would pose the greatest risks in case of failure and therefore warrant the most careful monitoring and management. The report also discusses steps local officials and residents can take to manage those risks. | Interactive Map

June 2018 –

In 2016, the State’s 109 active Industrial Development Agencies reported projects valued at $95.6 billion, with nearly $715 million in net annual tax exemptions and $10.0 billion in total debt outstanding, including conduit and other debt. They supported 4,451 projects that had created 208,707 jobs from their inception through 2016. | Interactive Map

May 2018 –

Most large urban areas in New York State are served by municipal sewer systems, many of which commingle stormwater with the wastewater from homes and businesses in combined sewer systems. The flows from combined sewers can overwhelm treatment systems and have a harmful impact on the environment. This report, as part of the Office of the State Comptroller’s infrastructure series, describes the current scale of the problem in the State and some of the steps being taken to remediate it.