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NYS Comptroller


Publications: Research Reports


Growing Cracks in the Foundation: Local Governments are Losing Ground on Addressing Vital Infrastructure Needs [Released 12/20/12]

Local governments’ infrastructure needs are substantial and growing, while their ability to maintain their investments in capital programs is increasingly constrained. State policy changes could help reverse this trend. [read complete Infrastructure Needs report - pdf]

2012 Fiscal Profile: City of Niagara Falls [Released 12/10/12]

Just as Niagara Falls seemed to be making headway in its financial struggles, a dispute between the Seneca Nation and the State of New York has resulted in the City losing as much as $60 million in revenue. The City’s 2013 executive budget proposal called for significant layoffs, program cutbacks, and property tax increases. [read complete City of Niagara Falls report - pdf]

2012 Fiscal Profile: City of Salamanca [Released 12/10/12]

Salamanca unexpectedly lost revenues from the Seneca Allegany Casino due to a dispute between the Seneca Nation and New York State over exclusive gaming rights. Although Salamanca aggressively responded to this revenue crisis, the City could run out of cash before the fiscal year ends on March 31, 2013. [read complete City of Salamanca report - pdf]

Proposed Fiscal Stress Monitoring System [Released 09/24/12]

This proposed Fiscal Stress Monitoring System consists of evaluating local governments (counties, cities, towns, and villages) and school districts based on both financial and environmental indicators. [read complete fsms report - pdf]

New Fiscal Realities Challenge Local Governments [Released 08/12]

This report describes the fiscal oversight OSC provides to local governments faced with the serious fiscal challenges of budgeting with fewer resources to fund rising expenditures, all while staying within the recently enacted property tax cap. [read complete Fiscal Realities report - pdf]

Excess Funds in Employee Benefit Accrued Liability Reserves (EBALR) - Report to the New York State Legislature [Released 06/21/12]

School districts can use EBALR moneys to make cash payments to employees for accrued leave time due to them when they leave school district employment. OSC certified the excess EBALR funds that school districts had reserved, but could not legally use, so district officials could put these moneys to productive use to pay for operating costs. [read complete EBALR report - pdf]

Annual Performance Report on New York State's Industrial Development Agencies [Released 05/01/12]

In 2010, the 114 active IDAs located throughout the State supported 4,444 projects and provided total tax exemptions of nearly $1.3 billion. [read complete IDA report - pdf]

School District Tax Levy Limits - Preliminary Findings Point to an Average of 3 Percent Allowable Levy Growth Statewide [Released 04/19/12]

This report briefly describes that the average allowable levy growth is 3 percent, rather than the 2 percent voters may be expecting. [read complete School District Tax Levy Limits report - pdf]
All tax cap elements, as reported by school districts to the Office of the State Comptroller, are provided in the accompanying tables. Tax Cap Elements by County [xls] | Tax Cap Elements by Region [xls] | Tax Cap Elements by School [xls]

Cleaning It Up: The Foreclosure Problem and the Response of Local Governments [Released 03/15/12]

This report briefly describes the impact of the housing market crisis on New York State. The report also highlights the results of a survey by OSC on whether local officials are utilizing the 2009 law requiring foreclosing lenders to maintain vacant or abandoned properties. [read complete Foreclosure report - pdf]

Sales Tax Collections Continue to Rebound; Growth Rate Slows [Released 02/21/12]

Local sales tax collections grew by $650 million, or 5 percent, from 2010 to 2011, compared to a growth rate of 9.9 percent between 2009 and 2010. However, nearly a third of the 2010 growth was attributable to a sales tax rate increase in New York City. Without this, growth would have been about 7 percent. [read complete Sales Tax Collections report - pdf] | [read county-by-county report - pdf]