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R.I. Department of Revenue releases February 2016 cash collections report

Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue released its FY 2015 Cash Collections Report for February 2016 today. The Cash Collections Report, which is issued on a monthly basis, compares current fiscal year cash collections by revenue item on a fiscal year-to-date and monthly basis to prior fiscal year cash collections by revenue item. The cash collections report makes no adjustments for the timeliness of the receipt of revenues and provides readers with insight into the state's cash flow over the course of the fiscal year.

Rhode Island Department of Revenue Director Robert S. Hull noted: "FY 2016 total general revenue cash collections through February remain strong with year on year growth of 2.3 percent, or $48.9 million.

"The growth rate for the year remained positive despite a sharp drop in personal income tax collections for the month of February and lower Lottery transfer revenue attributable to increased competition in Massachusetts."

Notable cash collections items on a February fiscal year-to-date basis included: Increased total personal income tax cash collections of approximately $790.2 million, up $20.1 million or 2.6 percent year-to-date. o Personal income tax withholding payments up $15.0 million or 2.2 percent year to date. Similarly, for February 2015 year to date performance, personal income tax withholding payments cash collections were up $27.1 million or 4.1 percent over. Year-to-date sales and use tax cash collections of $18.4 million or 2.8 percent more than FY 2015 in spite of the 2016 repeal of sales and use tax on electricity, natural gas, and heating fuels (to commercial buyers for non-manufacturing purposes). The Office of Revenue Analysis estimates that $16.6 million of sales and use tax revenue has been foregone from this change. FY 2016 lottery transfer cash collections down $3.5 million or 1.6 percent compared to prior year, primarily due to gaming competition in nearby Massachusetts. o Net gaming revenue from traditional table games at Twin River up $1.4 million or 19.2 percent against prior year. o Increased lottery cash collections of $150,412 due to the addition of a new poker room at Twin River with 16 poker tables in December 2016.

Notable month of February cash collections items included: Reduced February 2016 personal income tax cash collections by $7.8 million, 22.1 percent below February 2015. o The decrease in February 2016 personal income tax cash collections was driven in large part by an increase of $14.2 million or 21.7 percent in personal income tax refunds versus February 2015. Lower sales and use tax cash collections than in February 2015 by $1.0 million or -1.5 percent. The decline was likely due to the exemption of electricity, natural gas and heating fuels purchased by commercial users that went into effect on July 1, 2016. o Increased registry receipts component of sales and use tax reflecting the use tax paid on newly registered motor vehicles, up $1.1 million or 18.5 percent year over year. Increased lottery transfer for February 2016 by $4.2 million, or 14.4 percent, more than February 2015 in spite of increased gaming competition in Massachusetts. The relatively mild winter weather in January 2016 likely contributed to this increase as all casino gaming revenue derived from Twin River and Newport Grand was higher for February 2016 than it was for February 2015. o Increased traditional games component of the lottery transfer by $3.4 million, or 92.4 percent, higher than February 2015, largely reflecting increased Powerball ticket sales that resulted from the world record $1.6 billion jackpot in January 2016.

The full cash collections report can be found on the Department of Revenue's web site, www.dor.ri,gov, under the Revenue Analysis directory or at this link: http://www.dor.ri.gov/revenue-analysis/2016.php under 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 paul.grimaldi@revenue.ri.gov or by phone at (401) 574-8766.

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