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NYS Comptroller


Publications and Research Reports

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Recent Releases

January 23, 2020

Fiscal Stress in School Districts: Common Themes for School Year 2018-19 [Released 01/23/2020]

This report summarizes results of school district scores for the 2018-19 fiscal school year (SY) and compares results to SYs 2016-17 and 2017-18. The report reflects the seventh annual release of FSMS scores. FSMS covers 674 school districts in 57 counties, but excludes the New York City School District. [read complete Fiscal Stress in School Districts report - pdf].

November 21, 2019

Local Government Debt Trends and Practices in New York State [Released 11/21/2019]

Local government debt is necessary for the funding of expensive and long-lived capital infrastructure. However, high debt can place pressure on a local government’s ability to pay debt service while still addressing other funding needs, and increasing reliance on short-term debt could be a sign of structural budget imbalance. Local debt outstanding appears to have stabilized since the last recession, after more than a decade of substantial increases. Some types of local government, especially counties and fire districts, have continued to increase their total levels of debt. In general, downstate has the highest debt per capita, although there are pockets of higher debt around the State. [read complete Local Government Debt Trends report - pdf].

November 15, 2019

Local Sales Tax Collections Growth Improves in Third Quarter of 2019 [Released 11/15/2019]

Local sales tax collections in New York State totaled $4.8 billion in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 6.3 percent over the third quarter of 2018. This growth was stronger than in either of the first two quarters of the year. [read complete Local Sales Tax Collections report - pdf].

November 12, 2019

Property Taxes in New York State [Released 11/12/2019]

The Office of the State Comptroller collects property tax levy and assessed value data from local governments statewide and makes this information available online. These detailed tables show tax levies, property values and tax rates for each city, county, town, village and school district in the State. This report uses 2019 data to summarize property tax results and trends in the State. [read complete Property Taxes report - pdf].

September 26, 2019

Fiscal Stress Monitoring System Results for Municipalities: Common Themes for Fiscal Year 2018 [Released 09/26/2019]

This report summarizes the fiscal and environmental results of all 1,586 New York counties, cities, towns and villages for their fiscal years ending (FYE) in 2018 and compares results to FYE 2017. It also points to useful tools to help local governments experiencing stress, such as multiyear financial planning to ensure that financial resources are available for future needs. [read complete FSMS Results for Municipalities report - pdf].

September 16, 2019

Smart Solutions Across the State: Advanced Technology in Local Governments [Released 09/16/2019]

The City of Schenectady recently began installing energy saving LED street lights and expanding wireless connectivity to certain neighborhoods as part of its Smart City Project. Other local governments across New York State are also turning to new technologies to save money, better communicate with residents and allow taxpayers to make payments online. The report notes that local government leaders should be prepared to systematically address the heightened need for cybersecurity, particularly concerning smart infrastructure devices and related data. [read complete Smart Solutions report - pdf].

September 13, 2019

Local Government Management Guide: Capital Projects Fund [Released 09/13/2019]

Local governments undertake capital projects to acquire, develop, improve or maintain various facilities, other infrastructure and/or equipment. These projects are generally large in scale, require large sums of money and are long-term. A capital projects fund is used to account for the financial resources supporting capital projects during the life of the project. This guide is intended to provide local officials with an overview of the use of capital projects funds and guidance on the fundamentals of accounting for capital projects. Accounting and reporting for capital projects can be a complex matter. [read complete Capital Projects Fund guide - pdf].

August 20, 2019

Hitting the Limit: The Constitutional Tax Limit and its Implications for Local Governments [Released 08/20/2019]

New York State’s Constitutional Tax Limit (CTL) restricts the amounts local governments may raise by taxing real estate in any fiscal year. All cities, counties and villages must comply. Overall, relatively few municipalities are dangerously close to their CTL; however, the number has been increasing in recent years. For these communities, the CTL poses a serious constraint on their ability to generate revenue. This report, using data through 2018, examines recent trends in the proximity of cities (excluding New York City), counties and villages to the CTL and focuses in more detail on those for whom the CTL poses the biggest budgeting challenge. [read the complete Constitutional Tax Limit report - pdf]

August 13, 2019

New York State School Safety: A Statewide and Regional Review [Released 08/13/2019]

Parents, educators, the public and State policymakers agree that student safety must be a top priority in every school. This report summarizes some of the information reported by New York’s public school districts on violent and disruptive incidents and expenditures on school building security materials and equipment, and includes a series of regional profiles. [read the complete School Safety report - pdf]

July 31, 2019

Growth in Local Sales Tax Collections Slows in the First Half of 2019 [Released 07/31/2019]

Local sales tax collections for the first half of 2019 totaled $8.8 billion in New York State. Collections grew by 3.4 percent and 3.2 percent in the first and second quarters, respectively, over the same periods in 2018. This moderate pace is closer to those seen in most of 2017 than to the stronger early quarters of 2018. [read the complete Sales Tax report - pdf]