Local Government Publications

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

Local Government Management Guides > General Oversight, Inventories

July 2024 –

This guide will address a number of practices that local officials can use to receive the most value from their government’s investment in capital assets.

Annual Reports > Debt, Reporting

May 2024 –

This report summarizes data for fiscal year 2022, the most recent data reported by IDAs through the Public Authorities Reporting Information System. The report also contains a brief discussion of local development corporations, a related type of local authority. For regional and IDA-level summary data, see our Interactive Map. For more detailed IDA and project-level data, see IDA 2022 | LDC 2022.

Research Reports > Sales Tax

April 2024 –

Local government sales tax collections in New York State totaled $5.6 billion in the first calendar quarter of 2024, up 1.6 percent (or $87.3 million) compared to the same quarter last year. While this marked the lowest rate of growth since the same quarter in 2021, it is important to note that where were several quarters of under 2 percent growth in the two decades prior to the pandemic. New York City’s 3.2 percent increase in first quarter collections was responsible for nearly all statewide growth. Conversely, the counties and cities throughout the rest of the State, in aggregate, experienced no growth (-0.03 percent). | Regional Table [xlsx]

Accounting Notices and Bulletins > Revenues/Cash Management

April 2024 –

This bulletin provides guidance on amendments to General Municipal Law (GML) Section 209-b, which authorizes authorities having control of fire departments and fire companies (i.e. cities, villages, towns or fire districts) that provide emergency and general ambulance services (services) to charge fees for certain emergency and ambulance services. This bulletin includes accounting guidance as well as general internal controls and best practices that should be considered when implementing billing for these services in accordance with the amended law.

Accounting and Reporting Manuals (ARMs) > Budgeting, Reporting, Revenues/Cash Management

April 2024 –

The Accounting and Reporting Manual (ARM) is a comprehensive accounting and financial reporting guide for Counties, Cities, Towns, Villages, Libraries and Soil and Water Conservation Districts in New York State. It has been updated to reflect changes in accounting guidance. Additionally, County, City, Town and Village account codes and definitions have been removed from the ARM and are available in the online Chart of Accounts Query.

Research Reports > Other

March 2024 –

This report examines the local government role in emergency medical services (EMS) in New York State and particularly the growing role that counties are playing in EMS provision. Declining staffing levels, increasing costs and other challenges have put pressure on the State’s EMS agencies. In many cases, counties are stepping up to help. Their EMS expenditures are growing rapidly and increasingly they are participating directly in providing EMS to their residents, either as primary responders or as back-up providers to their local EMS agencies. The current circumstances call for more State involvement to support the efforts of counties and other local governments to turn fragmented and ad hoc responses into comprehensive solutions. 

Research Reports > Sales Tax

February 2024 –

Local government sales tax collections in New York State totaled $23 billion in calendar year 2023, up 4.2 percent (or nearly $919 million) compared 2022. This past year’s growth lagged compared to both 2021 and 2022, when a combination of rising inflation and a surge in taxable sales statewide led to double-digit growth after significant COVID-related declines in 2020. Despite the slowdown, collections returned to growth rates more consistently seen before the pandemic. New York City’s collections grew by 5.9 percent, year over year, while the counties and cities in the rest of the State, in aggregate, experienced 2.4 percent growth. | Regional Table [xlsx]

Research Reports > Fiscal Stress

January 2024 –

This snapshot highlights the Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS) results for school districts that reported for school fiscal year (SY) 2022-23, which ended on June 30, 2023. Increases to federal pandemic relief aid and the State fully funding foundation aid kept many districts out of a stress designation. For SY 2022-23, sixteen school districts were designated as being in stress—the second-lowest number since the system was created. The report also includes a look at districts that have been chronically stressed over the eleven years since FSMS began.

Annual Reports > Debt, Financial Condition, Fiscal Stress, Reporting, Revenues/Cash Management, Sales Tax

January 2024 –

This report provides a summary analysis of the financial state of the local governments outside of New York City for local fiscal years ending in 2022. In FYE 2022, local governments had a more stable environment, both financially and operationally, compared to the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, some new challenges presented themselves, such as a sharp rise in inflation. | NYS Local Government Interactive Data.

Research Reports > Other

December 2023 –

The number of full-time local government workers employed outside of New York City contracted by 7.9% from 2007 to 2022, largely the result of two defining events – the recession of 2007-09 and the COVID-19 pandemic. This stands in contrast to the nation as a whole, which saw a 2% increase in the number of full-time local government employees over the same 15-year period. This snapshot report highlights these findings and provides additional analysis by local government class, job function and geographic region.

Research Reports > Sales Tax

October 2023 –

Local government sales tax collections in New York State totaled $5.9 billion in the third calendar quarter of 2023, up 3.6 percent (or over $205 million) compared to the same period last year. This marked the second consecutive quarter of moderate growth, signaling a return to lower pre-pandemic growth rates. New York City’s third quarter growth strengthened, with collections increasing by 4.9 percent, while the counties and cities throughout the rest of the State, in aggregate, experienced 2.4 percent growth. | Regional Table [xlsx]

Research Reports > Information Technology, Reporting

October 2023 –

From 2019 through July 31, 2023, DiNapoli’s Local Government and School Accountability division released more than 190 information technology (IT) audits, finding more than 2,400 cybersecurity-related issues. The audits focused on breakdowns or gaps in fundamental cybersecurity components. The most common areas where improvement and corrective action were needed included cybersecurity governance aspects such as training in IT security awareness, policies and procedures, and the need for contingency plans. Because these cybersecurity audits are sensitive in nature, many findings and recommendations for corrective action are communicated confidentially to local government and school officials. Often the audit recommendations can be implemented at no or low cost to local governments or school districts.

Research Reports > Fiscal Stress

September 2023 –

This snapshot highlights the results for counties, cities, towns and villages that reported for local fiscal years ending (FYE) in 2022. Overall, the influx of federal pandemic relief aid, as well as robust sales tax revenues, were significant factors in lowering many municipalities’ fiscal stress scores in FYE 2022, especially for non-calendar year entities. Included in the report is an analysis of the 10 years of data collected since the launch of the system, focusing on what has been learned over the past decade. | Fiscal Stress Monitoring System 10 Year Statistics

Research Reports > Budgeting, General Oversight, Revenues/Cash Management

August 2023 –

New York State voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2013 which authorized seven commercial casinos. The first four of those opened between 2016 and 2018 in upstate communities and the Request for Applications for the remaining three licenses for downstate communities began in January 2023. This report analyzes the impact the revenue from the four upstate commercial casinos has had on the affected local governments.

Research Reports > Sales Tax

August 2023 –

Local government sales tax collections in New York State totaled $5.7 billion in the second calendar quarter of 2023, up 3 percent (or $167 million) compared to the same period last year. Second quarter growth was less strong than the 7.1 percent seen in the first quarter. In fact, overall growth has continued to slow since April-June 2021. New York City’s second quarter increase of 3.7 percent marked the first time that its collections did not reach double-digit growth after eight consecutive quarters, while the counties and cities throughout the rest of the State, in aggregate, experienced 2.3 percent growth. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Accounting Notices and Bulletins > Information Technology, Reporting

July 2023 –

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide accounting and financial reporting guidance for subscription-based information technology arrangements (SBITAs) and illustrate how local governments and school districts will need to account for and report these SBITAs in the Annual Financial Report (AFR) and the ST-3. | Reasonably Certain Template [.xlsx]

Research Reports > Reporting

June 2023 –

New York’s recreational adult-use cannabis market represents a new legalized industry and, as such, its development presents new and unique issues for local governments, particularly for the cities, towns and villages that will have marijuana retail dispensaries and consumption sites located within their jurisdictions. The purpose of this report is to briefly provide a background on the 2021 cannabis law, including its major components and actors, and to touch upon its financial and operational implications for local governments.

Accounting Notices and Bulletins > Revenues/Cash Management

June 2023 –

This bulletin provides accounting guidance related to direct payments of opioid settlement funds from the New York State Attorney General's Office to county and city governments. Note that this bulletin does not apply to money received by local governments and school districts from the State Opioid Fund, which will be covered in separate accounting guidance on that topic.

Research Reports > Sales Tax

May 2023 –

Local government sales tax collections in New York State totaled $5.5 billion in the first calendar quarter of 2023, up 7.1 percent (or $369 million) compared to the same period last year. Despite strong first quarter collections, sales tax growth continues to moderate, returning to more typical collections patterns seen prior to the pandemic. New York City experienced sales tax growth of 11.3 percent in the first quarter, while most counties and preempting cities throughout the rest of the State saw some growth as well. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Research Reports > Budgeting, General Oversight, Other

April 2023 –

A sample of 95 local governments across New York State reported $1.34 billion in actual and anticipated spending on capital projects over a 10-year period, with about $737 million (55% of the total) in response to climate-related hazards such as increased flooding and storm damage. A review of New York City’s capital commitments for fiscal year 2023 showed that it included $829 million for adaptation and resilience projects, and another $1.3 billion for projects with adaptation and resilience components, with planned commitments averaging more than $1.8 billion per year. | Survey: Cost of Adapting to Climate Change