PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2016 Revenue Assessment Report for January 2016. 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 January 2016 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 $31.6 million more than expected total general revenues, a variance of 1.7 percent. The principals of the November 2015 Revenue Estimating Conference revised the estimate of FY 2016 total general revenues up by $52.4 million.
Acting Director of Revenue Marilyn S. McConaghy, Esq., noted that "although fiscal year-to-date adjusted total general revenues through January continue to lead fiscal year-to-date expected total general revenues through January, the growth that we had been seeing in previous months has stagnated. Nearly two thirds of the spread between adjusted and expected fiscal year-to-date total general revenues through January is attributable to adjusted personal income tax refunds being less than expected. It is generally concerning when the gap between adjusted total general revenues and expected total general revenues is so dependent on a single revenue stream."
FY 2016 year-to-date through January adjusted personal income tax withholding payments revenues trail expectations by $6.7 million or 1.1 percent. The lottery transfer for the FY 2016 year-to-date period through January exceeds expectations by $5.0 million or 2.9 percent. In addition, both business corporations tax revenues and estate and transfer tax revenues on an adjusted basis are ahead of FY 2016 year-to-date expected revenues through January, however, the gap for these two general revenue sources has narrowed.
For the month of January, 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 $100,443 or 0.03 percent.
"The January 2016 results were sobering as for the first time this fiscal year the monthly results essentially exactly met expectations," McConaghy said. "Although adjusted January 2016 personal income tax revenues exceeded expected monthly personal income tax revenues for January both personal income tax final payments revenues and personal income tax withholding payments revenues were below expectations.
"On the plus side, January 2016 adjusted personal income tax refunds and adjustments revenues were 45.6 less than expected meaning that $4.0 million less of refunds were paid out in January than expected, and the adjusted lottery transfer for January was 10.1 percent more than monthly expectations."
Adjusted sales and use tax revenues for January were less than expected by $1.1 million, a variance of 1.3 percent. Similar shortfalls in adjusted revenues for the month of January were experienced by business corporations tax revenues, cigarettes tax revenues, and estate and transfer tax revenues. Finally, adjusted departmental receipts revenues for January were up significantly over expectations at $4.4 million, a variance of 20.3 percent.
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 email@example.com or by phone at (401) 574-8766.