Local Government Publications

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

Guidance >

January 2023 –

The Comptroller's Division of Local Government and School Accountability provides essential support to these officials to keep operations and services running smoothly for New Yorkers. If you’re a new local government official, complete the five tasks in this guide to get started in your new role.

Research Reports > Fiscal Stress

January 2023 –

This snapshot highlights the FSMS results for school districts that reported for school fiscal year (SY) 2021-22, which ended on June 30, 2022. Fewer school districts were scored in fiscal stress in this year than any other year since the System’s inception largely due to increases in State aid and temporary federal aid.

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

January 2023 –

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 2021. Year two of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to present local officials with financial and operational challenges. In this report, we summarize these by class of local government. | NYS Local Government Interactive Data

Accounting Notices and Bulletins > Reporting

December 2022 –

This bulletin provides accounting and financial reporting guidance related to those contracts that meet the definition of a lease, and illustrates how local governments and school districts will need to account and report these leases in their annual update document (AUD) and the ST-3.
Updated December 2022 (Originally Issued August 2022)

Research Reports > Sales Tax

October 2022 –

Local government sales tax collections totaled nearly $5.7 billion and grew by 10.2%, or $529 million, in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year, mostly driven by double digit growth in New York City. However, local governments are contending with higher costs from inflation, which was 8.3% nationally. Adjusting for inflation, year-over-year growth in the value of sales tax revenue for the third quarter was 1.8%. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Research Reports > Fiscal Stress

September 2022 –

This snapshot highlights the results for counties, cities, towns and villages that reported for local fiscal years ending (FYE) 2021. Overall, the influx of federal pandemic relief aid and rapid recovery of sales tax revenues were significant factors in lowering many municipalities’ fiscal stress scores in FYE 2021, especially for calendar year local governments.

Research Reports > Sales Tax

July 2022 –

Local government sales tax collections in New York State totaled over $5.5 billion in the second quarter of 2022, an increase of 12.2 percent, or nearly $604 million, compared to the same quarter last year. April and May collections grew by 15.7 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively, while June increased 6.5 percent, marking the first time since March 2021 the monthly year-over-year growth dipped below double-digits. New York City’s second quarter collections increased by 24.9%, up from relatively weak collections in April-June 2021, while growth for the counties and cities in the rest of the State slowed to 2.6% over the same period last year. Only a handful of counties saw more than 5 percent year-over-year growth in the second quarter and 31 counties experienced declines. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Research Reports > Debt, Reporting

June 2022 –

This report summarizes data for fiscal year 2020, 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. | Interactive Map

Research Reports > Sales Tax

April 2022 –

Local government sales tax collections totaled nearly $5.2 billion in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 21.1 percent, or $901 million, compared to the same quarter the previous year. This growth was at least partially driven by inflation, which hit a 40-year-high in March, most notably for gasoline, new and used cars, and household energy costs. Almost every county outside of New York City experienced double-digit growth in the first quarter. New York City’s collections grew by 28.5 percent and exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the second straight quarter after remaining below pre-pandemic levels for most of 2020 and 2021. The report notes that the recently enacted state budget eliminates county sales tax withholdings outside of New York City, and also provides for a partial suspension of certain state taxes on gasoline from June to December 2022. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Local Government Management Guides > Budgeting, Capital Projects, Financial Condition, General Oversight, Reporting, Revenues/Cash Management

February 2022 –

This guide describes the types of reserve funds that local governments and school districts can establish and maintain. In general, reserve funds have specific intended purposes and requirements as set forth in law. This guide contains a summary of the many different types of reserve funds authorized by New York State statutes.
Updated February 2022 (Originally Issued January 2010)

Research Reports > Revenues/Cash Management

February 2022 –

The Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) program, the State’s unrestricted aid program for cities, towns and villages, has remained flat or declined over the last decade.  Also called revenue sharing, this aid to local governments has declined by 24% since 2011, when the state’s real property tax cap was enacted. This aid is important for municipalities, since it can be used for any governmental purpose, and it is particularly vital to many cities.

Research Reports > Sales Tax

February 2022 –

New York State local government sales tax collections totaled $19.6 billion in 2021, an increase of 19.1 percent, or $3.1 billion, compared to the previous year. This was the highest annual jump on record after a historic low in 2020 when local sales tax collections declined by 10 percent. The report examines the many factors that drove sales tax growth in 2021, including inflation, along with the difference in sales tax recovery between New York City and the rest of the State. The report also analyzes the pandemic’s impact on consumer spending, particularly as it pertains to the local taxable sales and purchases for the State’s key sectors, such as retail trade and accommodation and food services. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

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

February 2022 –

This Annual 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 2020. It highlights the unique challenges that local officials faced from the COVID-19 pandemic. | NYS Local Government Interactive Data

Research Reports > Capital Projects, Reporting

January 2022 –

Local governments across the state own 85 percent of all roads, from city and village streets to town roads and county highways. In fiscal year 2020, local governments, excluding New York City, spent $2 billion on road maintenance, repairs and upgrades, a decline of 7 percent since 2010. This report looks at local road spending, State and federal road aid, and the need for a comprehensive assessment of road conditions, maintenance needs and associated costs. | Interactive Map

Research Reports > Fiscal Stress

January 2022 –

This snapshot highlights the FSMS results for school districts that reported for school fiscal year (SY) 2020-21, which ended on June 30, 2021. Fewer school districts were scored in fiscal stress in this year, but the COViD-19 pandemic and the local, State and federal responses to it had a negative impact on district operations.

Guidance > Capital Projects, Cash Disbursements, Cash Receipts, Debt, General Oversight, Purchasing

January 2022 –

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 January 2022 (Originally Issued January 2018)

Local Government Management Guides > Claims Auditing/Credit Cards

December 2021 –

Learn about electronic cash management technologies and the internal controls needed to help detect fraud and ensure that all transactions are captured. Relevant topics include the use of online banking, electronic transfers of funds, accepting credit/debit cards, remote deposit capture, lockboxes and common protection practices to safeguard cash.
Updated December 2021 (Previously Updated May 2010)

Research Reports > Sales Tax

December 2021 –

Statewide local sales tax collections grew by 17.5% in November compared to the same month in 2020. Overall, local collections totaled almost $1.6 billion, up $235 million from November of last year. Collections for the month were also notably robust when compared to pre-pandemic levels, up 9.2% (or $133 million) from November of 2019. New York City’s collections totaled $696 million, an increase of 12.6% – or nearly $78 million – when compared to November of 2020. Nearly every county experienced significant year-over-year growth in collections for November. | Regional Table [.xlsx]

Local Government Management Guides > General Oversight, Information Technology, Inventories

December 2021 –

The following guidance is intended to make oversight less daunting by providing a path for understanding and strengthening IT internal controls.

Research Reports > Sales Tax

November 2021 –

Statewide local government sales tax collections in October totaled more than $1.5 billion, an increase of 12.9 percent (or $175 million) compared to the same month in 2020. This growth continued the trend of monthly collections since April exceeding 2020 results. Strong local sales tax performance in October reflects weakened collections during the same month in 2020, when many parts of the state were still adversely impacted by the pandemic. That said, October 2021 total collections were fairly strong even when compared to the figures reported during pre-pandemic levels, up 7 percent (or $101 million) over October of 2019. Nearly every county outside of New York City saw year-over-year collections for October grow by double digits, while New York City’s sales taxes increased by 8.3 percent or over $51 million. | Regional Table [.xlsx]