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

Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue released its FY 2016 Cash Collections Report for March 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 March are up 2.7 percent, or $67.2 million more than was received last fiscal year through March of 2015. "The growth rate for the year remained positive despite a drop in all other revenues cash collections for the month of March. The month of March was bolstered by a substantial increase in personal income tax collections on a year-over-year basis." Notable cash collections items on a March fiscal year-to-date basis included: Total personal income tax cash collections of approximately $871.6 million, up $53.6 million or 6.5 percent year-to-date. o Personal income tax withholding payments up $17.8 million, or 2.2 percent, year to date. Similarly, for March 2015 year-to-date performance, personal income tax withholding payments cash collections were up $33.6 million, or 4.4 percent. o Personal income tax refunds and adjustments down $35.3 million, or 19.4 percent, year-to-date due primarily to enhanced fraud protocols and processing changes employed by the Division of Taxation for the TY 2015 filing season. Year-to-date March 2016 sales and use tax cash collections of $20.9 million, or 2.9 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 $18.8 million of sales and use tax revenue has been foregone from this change. FY 2016 lottery transfer cash collections down $2.3 million, or 0.9 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 $1.7 million, or 20.7 percent, against prior year. o Increased lottery cash collections of $226,807 due to the addition of a new poker room at Twin River with 16 poker tables in December 2016.

Notable month of March cash collections items included: Increased March 2016 personal income tax cash collections by $33.4 million, 69.7 percent above March 2015. o The increase in March 2016 personal income tax cash collections was driven in large part by a decrease of $32.8 million, or 43.1 percent, in personal income tax refunds versus March 2015. Lower general business tax cash collections than in March 2015 by $8.7 million, or 5.4 percent. The decline was the result of drops in cash collections for: o Public utilities gross earnings taxes of $2.4 million, or 5.5 percent, from March 2015 likely as a result of the decline in energy prices between March 2016 and March 2015. o Financial institutions taxes of $9.6 million, or 55.9 percent, from March 2015 due in large part to the use of previous overpayments of taxes by a single taxpayer last year. Increased lottery transfer for March 2016 by $1.2 million, or 4.2 percent, more than March 2015 in spite of increased gaming competition in Massachusetts. The relatively mild winter weather in February 2016 likely contributed to this increase as all casino gaming revenue derived from Twin River and Newport Grand was higher for March 2016 than it was for March 2015. o Only the traditional games component of the lottery transfer showed a decrease in March 2015 and it was less than $1 million below March 2015, largely reflecting the aftermath of the world record $1.6-billion Powerball jackpot being hit 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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