Providence, RI -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue released its FY 2016 Revenue Assessment Report for December 2015 today. The Revenue Assessment Report, which is issued on a monthly basis, compares the adjusted general revenues by revenue source on a fiscal year-to-date and monthly basis to expected general revenues by revenue source. Expected general revenues are estimated by the Department of Revenue's Office of Revenue Analysis from the revenue estimates enacted in the FY 2016 budget. The methodology underlying the Office of Revenue Analysis' estimates is contained in the report.
On a fiscal year-to-date basis, the December 2015 report shows that adjusted total general revenues are ahead of expected total general revenues, based on the revenue estimates adopted at the November 2015 Revenue Estimating Conference and the Office of Revenue Analysis' estimation methodology, with adjusted total general revenues $31.4 million more than expected total general revenues, a variance of 2.1 percent. The principals of the November 2015 Revenue Estimating Conference revised the estimate of FY 2016 total general revenues up by $52.4 million.
The December 2015 Revenue Assessment Report can be found here: http://www.dor.ri.gov/documents/RevenueAnalysisState/FY2016/201512MonthlyAndYTDRevenueAssessment.pdf
Acting Director of Revenue Marilyn S. McConaghy, Esq., noted that "the state has increased the spread between adjusted year-to-date FY 2016 total general revenues and expected year-to-date FY 2016 total general revenues to $31.4 million, a welcome sign through the first six months of the fiscal year.
"I do have some concerns, however, that the increased spread is coming from a relatively narrow base as the combination of personal income tax, business corporations tax, and estate and transfer tax adjusted revenues comprise more than 96 percent of the difference between adjusted total general revenues and expected total general revenues," McConaghy said.
Personal income tax revenues exceeded expectations on a year-to-date basis through the first six months of the fiscal year by $13.5 million in large part due to fiscal year-to-date refunds and adjustments coming in significantly below expected refunds and adjustments through December. Sales and use tax adjusted revenues were in-line with expected sales and use tax revenues on a year-to-date basis through the first six months of the fiscal year. The FY 2016 year-to-date adjusted lottery transfer is $2.2 million, or 1.5 percent, ahead of the expected FY 2016 year-to-date lottery transfer based on the estimate adopted at the November 2015 Revenue Estimating Conference. The estimate of the FY 2016 lottery transfer was increased by $25.2 million from the enacted estimate at the November 2015 REC. Adjusted estate and transfer tax revenues are 36.4 percent more than the revised FY 2016 estimate on a year-to-date basis through the first six months of the fiscal year.
For the month of December, adjusted FY 2016 total general revenues exceeded expected FY 2016 monthly total general revenues based on the revenue estimates adopted at the November 2015 Revenue Estimating Conference and the Office of Revenue Analysis' estimation methodology by $7.1 million or 2.5 percent.
According to Acting Director McConaghy, "the December 2015 results were solid and driven primarily by adjusted business corporations tax revenues exceeding expected business corporations tax revenues. Somewhat concerning was the performance of the personal income tax which had adjusted revenues trailing expected revenues in December by $3.5 million.
"Particularly worrisome, was the fact that December adjusted withholding tax revenues trailed December expected withholding tax revenues by $6.9 million or -6.4 percent."
The spread between adjusted and expected sales and use tax revenues in December was 2.5 percent and may reflect that consumer spending for the beginning of the holiday season was stronger than anticipated. The lottery transfer for December was $409,086 more than the expected December lottery transfer, continued evidence of Rhode Island's ability to compete with gaming facilities in nearby Massachusetts. Finally, adjusted departmental receipts revenues for December were consistent with expectations.
The entire report can be found on the Department of Revenue's web site, www.dor.ri,gov, under the Revenue Analysis header on the State Reports tab.
Questions or comments on the report should be directed to Paul Grimaldi, Chief of Information and Public Relations by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (401) 574-8766.