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NYS Comptroller


Publications: Research Reports


Special Report: North Country Region Economic Profile [Released 10/20/2017]

This report highlights the North Country region's geography, demographics, municipalities, economy and labor markets, and includes a discussion about what the future may hold for the region. [read the complete North Country Report - pdf]

Oversight and Monitoring of Municipal Water Systems [Released 10/19/2017]

This report summarizes common findings from audits of 161 local government and 7 public authority water systems from January 2012 through May 2017. These audits identify deficiencies in financial management, including consistent overestimation of water revenues, incorrect billing, improper transfer of money between water and other funds, and insufficient internal controls and long-term planning. Many audits have also found other problems in water system operations, including significant losses as water travels from its sources to its users. [read the complete Municipal Water Systems Report - pdf]

Local Bridges by the Numbers [Released 10/10/2017]

Bridges are structures of chronic concern, both because of the degree to which we rely on them and the risks they pose should they fail. This report offers a quick look at New York’s bridges, including those in New York City. In 2016, 11 percent of all New York bridges were structurally deficient, according to federal standards. Bridges owned by New York’s local governments and authorities are more likely than State-owned bridges to be structurally deficient (12.8 percent compared to 9.0 percent). [read the complete Bridges report - pdf] | Interactive Data

Fiscal Stress Monitoring System Results for Municipalities: Four Year Review, 2013 - 2016 [Released 09/27/2017]

The Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS) annually assesses fiscal stress in local governments and school districts. This report examines and summarizes notable trends in the fiscal scores of all 1,595 New York counties, cities, towns and villages regardless of their fiscal year end dates, for the period 2013 through 2016. [read the complete Four Year Review report - pdf]

Special Report: Finger Lakes Region Economic Profile [Released 08/30/2017]

This report highlights the Finger Lakes region’s geography, demographics, municipalities, economy and labor markets, and includes a discussion about what the future may hold for the region. [read the complete Finger Lakes Region report - pdf]

First Half of 2017: Local Sales Tax Growth Ticks Up Statewide [Released 08/04/2017]

For the first half of calendar year 2017, local sales tax collections were $8.0 billion, a 3.3 percent increase over the same period last year. This is a slight improvement over the last several half-year periods. Economic factors supporting these results include continued low unemployment and high consumer confidence. Sales taxes were also boosted by growth in collections from sales of motor fuels. [read The Local Sales Tax Growth report - pdf]

The Impact of Federal Aid on New York's Local Governments [Released 07/14/2017]

Federal aid is a critical component of local government revenues. Proposed changes to federal education policy, expanded military spending and the Executive Order declaring "sanctuary jurisdictions" ineligible for some federal grants could also affect New York's local governments. This report and the accompanying interactive data use information reported by local governments to help local officials and citizens understand how they could be affected by such changes. [read The Impact of Federal Aid report - pdf] | Interactive Data

Fire Protection in New York State: How Is It Provided in Your Community? [Released 03/31/2017]

The system for providing fire protection services throughout New York State can be surprisingly complex. This report will provide an overview of the organization, administration, membership benefits, and common OSC audit findings for fire protection entities. [read Fire Protection in New York State report - pdf]

Annual Performance Report on New York State's Industrial Development Agencies - Fiscal Years Ending 2015 [Released 03/27/2017]

In 2015, the State’s 109 active Industrial Development Agencies reported projects valued at $88.7 billion, with nearly $700 million in net annual tax exemptions and $11.4 billion in total debt outstanding, including conduit and other debt. They supported 4,484 projects that had created 224,734 jobs from their inception through 2015. [read Annual Performance Report - pdf] | Interactive Map

Education in New York - Nine Regional Snapshots Outside New York City [Released 02/24/2017]

New York State requires school districts to report extensive data on their finances, student demographics and outcomes, teachers, school facilities, school climate and other factors. This report offers a regional perspective on some of this data. Looking at the results this way highlights geographic variation in these indicators. [read Education in New York report - pdf] | Interactive Map | Technical Appendix [pdf]

Drinking Water Systems in New York: The Challenges of Aging Infrastructure [Released 02/13/2017]

An overview of the different ways in which public water supplies are provided, regulated and funded in New York State. The report addresses specific concerns facing local governments including funding trends, capital planning practices and the emerging risk areas of contamination and security. [read complete drinking water systems report - pdf]

2016 Local Sales Tax Collections [Released 01/31/2017]

While total local sales tax collections in New York State grew by only 0.7 percent in 2016, the modest increase was largely due to a multiyear correction that inflated New York City's 2015 collections. After adjusting for this correction, total local growth was about $357 million over the prior year, or about 2.3 percent. [read 2016 Local Sales Tax Collections - pdf]

Fiscal Stress Monitoring System Results for School Districts: Four-Year Review [Released 01/25/2017]

The Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS) annually assesses fiscal stress in local governments and school districts. This is the fourth annual FSMS scoring of school districts, showing results for the four school years through 2015-16. [read Four-Year Review for School Districts - pdf]