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R.I. Department of Revenue releases May 2016 state hotel tax report

Providence, R.I. --The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2016 State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Collections Report for May 2016. The State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Allocation Report, which is issued on a monthly basis, compares the collections from the state's 5.0 percent hotel tax on a year-over-year, and fiscal year-to-date over fiscal year-to-date basis. The state 5.0 percent hotel tax is collected on the rental of rooms in the state and distributed based on the formula contained in Rhode Island General Law Chapter 44-63.1 entitled "Tourism and Development."

Expansion of the State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Base: The May 2016 report includes the state 5.0 percent hotel tax collections generated by the rental of lodging via hosting platforms and by on-line travel companies (room resellers). The state 5.0 percent hotel tax collections from these rentals covers the period of July 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 inclusive for all municipalities other than the City of Newport. For the City of Newport, state 5.0 percent hotel tax collections from these rentals covers the period of July 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016 inclusive.

Changes in the Distribution of the State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Revenues: Rhode Island General Law 42-63.1-3(b) titled "Tourism and Development Distribution of tax" provides that for state hotel tax returns and payments received after December 31, 2015 the distribution of state hotel tax revenues would follow the new formula enacted into law by the General Assembly in the 2015 session. The state hotel tax revenue from December 2015 through May 2016 hotel room rental activity was received after January 1, 2016 and thus the new formula applies to the FY 2016 December through May revenue collections contained in this report. In general, the new formula changes the share of state hotel tax revenues allocated to the various recipients as follows: Regional tourism districts' share decreases from 47 percent to 42 percent; The Convention Authority of Providence and the Warwick Department of Economic Development shares from hotels located in each respective city, except the Omni Providence Hotel, decrease from 31 percent to 28 percent; The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau's share from hotels located outside of Providence and Warwick decreases from seven percent to five percent; The Rhode Island Convention Center Authority's share from the Omni Providence Hotel decreases from 30 percent to zero percent; The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation's share from hotels located outside of Providence and Warwick increases from 21 percent to 28 percent; its share from hotels located in Providence and Warwick, except the Omni Providence Hotel, increases from 21 percent to 24 percent; and its share from Omni Providence Hotel increase from 27 percent to 60 percent.

Results of the May 2016 Report: The findings of the May 2016 State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Collections Report on a year-over-year basis are: Year-over-year growth in state hotel tax receipts was 19.3 percent, well above the 2.9 percent year-over-year increase reported in April 2016; o May 2016 state hotel tax collections include $16,518 of receipts from room rentals via hosting platforms and on-line travel companies; All tourism districts, other than East Providence, Statewide, and the Warwick Department of Economic Development received more state 5.0 percent hotel tax collections in May 2016 than in May 2015; o The Aquidneck Island tourism district received $6,938 in increased revenues from the expansion of the state hotel tax base to room resellers and hosting platforms; Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (RICC) received $259,910 more year-over-year in state hotel tax revenue than was deposited as state general revenues for May 2015; o RICC collected $4,625 more in state hotel taxes from the assessment of the state 5.0 percent hotel tax on room rentals via hosting platforms and by room resellers.

The findings of the May 2016 State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Collections Report on a fiscal year-to-date over fiscal year-to-date basis are: Fiscal year-to-date over fiscal year-to-date growth in state hotel tax receipts increased to 13.0 percent, a slight increase from the April 2016 report; o Fiscal year-to-date through May 2016 state hotel tax collections include $208,870 of receipts from room rentals via hosting platforms and on-line travel companies; Rhode Island Commerce Corporation's share of state hotel taxes were $928,454 more on a fiscal year-to-date basis for FY 2016 than the amount deposited as state general revenues for the same period in FY 2015; o RICC collected $47,115 more in state hotel taxes from the assessment of the state 5.0 percent hotel tax on room rentals via hosting platforms and by room resellers. The regional tourism districts received $569,303 more in state hotel tax collections in FY 2016 through May vs. the same period last year, growth of 9.2 percent; o Expansion of the state 5.0 percent hotel tax base to hosting platforms and room resellers increased sate hotel tax collections for the regional tourism districts by $87,350. The fiscal year-to-date over fiscal year-to-date state hotel tax revenue allocation is summarized in Table 2 below:

The entire report can be found on the Department of Revenue's web site at http://www.dor.ri.gov/revenue-analysis/2016.php under the State Reports tab. The full report includes the break down by regional tourism district and municipality of state hotel tax collection distributions on a year-over-year and fiscal year-to-date over fiscal year-to-date basis.

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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