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Publications: Research Reports

Since 2003, the Division has been using the information OSC collects from local governments to produce research reports on major policy issues facing local governments and state policy-makers. Published under the Issues in Focus series, as brief bulletins on hot topics or as stand-alone reports, these publications help inform the public policy debate with data and analysis.

2015
Annual Performance Report on New York State's Industrial Development Agencies - Fiscal Year Ending 2013

Annual Performance Report on New York State's Industrial Development Agencies - Fiscal Year Ending 2013 [Released 05/18/15]

IDAs are important for economic development in the State, but local officials need to improve their scrutiny over projects so that taxpayers know if their community is receiving promised jobs and economic benefits. Recent audits have found deficiencies in IDA processes for approving and monitoring projects, as well as for recouping benefits from projects that have failed to meet their goals. [read complete Annual Performance Report on New York State's Industrial Development Agencies - Fiscal Year Ending 2013 - pdf]

Local Authorities in New York State - An Overview

Local Authorities in New York State - An Overview [Released 04/09/15]

The State has approximately 639 local authorities operating outside of New York City. These authorities generally operate without many of the constraints and controls over day-to-day operations required of municipal governments. OSC audits have helped to shine a light on questionable practices from board member compensation to the selection and results of economic development projects. OSC continues to advocate for express audit authority over LDCs and other not-for-profit local authorities, better reporting requirements for all local authorities and legislation to achieve more transparent results. [read complete Local Authorities in New York State - An Overview - pdf]

Local Government Sales Taxes in New York State: 2015 Update

Local Government Sales Taxes in New York State: 2015 Update [Released 03/24/15]

The sales tax generates 8 percent of all local government revenues in New York State and 27 percent of county revenues. This report examines the general sales and use tax imposed for local governments in the State. It covers the sales tax rates in counties and cities, and trends in sales tax revenues for local governments. It also includes an up-to-date county-level summary of sales tax sharing arrangements and discusses recent activity in the taxation of Internet sales. [read complete Local Government Sales Taxes in New York State: 2015 Update report - pdf]

Local Government Snapshot - February 2015 - Three Years of the Tax Cap - Impact on School Districts

Local Government Snapshot: Three Years of the Tax Cap - Impact on School Districts [Released 02/09/15]

The number of school districts overriding the tax cap has declined each year. In general, school districts’ decisions to override the tax cap were based, at least in part, on necessity. When examining the relationship between fiscal stress and tax cap overrides, we found that fiscally stressed school districts were nearly three times more likely to override the tax cap when compared to school districts that were not designated as stressed. [read complete Three Years of the Tax Cap report - pdf]| [2013-2015 Tax Cap Data - Excel]

Local Government Snapshot - Local Sales Tax Collection Growth Slows to 3 Percent in 2014; Slowest Growth Since 2009

Snapshot: Local Sales Tax Collection Growth Slows to 3 Percent in 2014; Slowest Growth Since 2009 [Released 02/03/15]

Local sales tax growth was slower in 2014 than in any year since the 2008-2009 recession, in part due to slow growth in the first quarter of the year. Long Island collections declined, some upstate counties had strong growth due to increased sales tax rates, and New York City's growth was relatively strong. [read complete Growth in Local Sales Tax Collections report - pdf] | [read county-by-county data - pdf]