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R.I. Department of Revenue releases January 2017 revenue assessment report

Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue (DOR) today released its FY 2017 Revenue Assessment Report for January 2017. 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 DOR's Office of Revenue Analysis from the revenue estimates adopted at the November 2016 Revenue Estimating Conference (REC).[1] The methodology underlying the Office of Revenue Analysis' estimates is contained in the report.

1. January Year-To-Date Performance. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, the January 2017 report shows that adjusted total general revenues are behind expected total general revenues, based on the revenue estimates adopted at the November 2016 REC and the Office of Revenue Analysis' estimation methodology, with adjusted total general revenues $12.3 million less than expected total general revenues, a variance of 0.7 percent. The primary sources of this shortfall are sales and use tax revenues $6.5 million below the estimate, personal income tax revenues $5.9 million behind expectations, and estate and transfer tax revenues $3.8 million below the estimate which are offset in part by departmental receipts revenues $5.1 million ahead of expectations.

2. January Monthly Performance. Adjusted FY 2017 January total general revenues trailed expected FY 2017 monthly total general revenues based on the revenue estimates adopted at the November 2016 REC and the Office of Revenue Analysis' estimation methodology, by $1.6 million or 0.5 percent. The primary sources of this underperformance are personal income tax revenues $3.7 million less than expected, sales and use tax revenues $1.6 million below the estimates, and estate and transfer tax revenues $1.2 million less than expected which are offset in large part by monthly departmental receipts revenues yielding $5.5 million more than expected in January.

Regarding December year-to-date performance, Director of Revenue Robert S. Hull made the following observations: Fiscal year-to-date growth in total general revenues through January declined further and are now $12.3 million below expectations, or 0.7 percent vs. $10.3 million and 0.7 percent in December. The spread between adjusted and expected personal income tax revenues was negative $5.9 million and includes an adjustment that reduces refunds and adjustments by $9.3 million to account for July and August 2016 refunds that were accrued back to FY 2016. o Adjusted FY 2017 year-to-date personal income tax final payments are $7.1 million more than expected, a variance of 23.8 percent. o Adjusted FY 2017 through January personal income tax withholding payments trail expectations by $5.2 million, or 0.8 percent and include receipt of a large, infrequently occurring payment in August 2016. o Adjusted personal income tax estimated payments for FY 2017 year-to-date slightly lead expectations at a variance of 0.1 percent. o Adjusted FY 2017 year-to-date refunds and adjustments exceed expectations through January by $8.0 million as FY 2016 refunds continue to be processed. Adjusted sales and use tax revenues through January continued to deteriorate and now lag expectations by $6.5 million, or 1.1 percent. Adjusted financial institutions tax and estate and transfer tax revenues are a combined $7.1 million below expectations for FY 2017 through January. Adjusted business corporations tax revenues are 4.5 percent more than expected FY 2017 through January business corporations tax revenues, a difference of $1.9 million. FY 2017 year-to-date adjusted departmental receipts revenues lead expected fiscal year-to-date departmental receipts revenues by $5.1 million or 4.8 percent. Adjusted cigarettes tax revenues through January are $2.0 million ahead of expectations, a variance of 2.4 percent. FY 2017 year-to-date adjusted lottery transfer revenues trail expected lottery transfer revenues through January with a negative variance of $1.8 million or 1.0 percent.

Regarding January monthly performance, Director Hull made the following observations: January adjusted monthly revenues are $1.6 million, or 0.5 percent, less than expected monthly revenues, a sharp improvement over December monthly revenues. Monthly adjusted personal income tax revenues trail expected January personal income tax revenues by $3.7 million, a variance of 2.5 percent. o January adjusted personal income tax withholding payments trail expected monthly personal income tax withholding payments by $805,882 a variance of 0.8 percent. o Adjusted personal income tax final payments for January were less than $100,000 below expectations, a variance of 2.2 percent. o Adjusted personal income tax estimated payments for January were $3.9 million ahead of expectations, a variance pf 7.2 percent o January adjusted personal income tax refunds and adjustments were $6.7 million more than expected for the month a difference of 70.8 percent. Adjusted sales and use tax revenues for January trail expectations by $1.6 million, or 1.7 percent. FY 2017 January adjusted estate and transfer tax revenues are $1.2 million below expectations for January, a variance of 59.7 percent. January adjusted departmental receipts revenues are $5.5 million more than expected, a variance of 23.2 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 paul.grimaldi@revenue.ri.gov or by phone at (401) 574-8766.

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