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R.I. Department of Revenue releases February 2017 cash collections report

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2017 Cash Collections Report for February 2017. 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 2017 total general revenue cash collections through February are up 1.0 percent, or $21.4 million more than was received last fiscal year through February of 2016." The growth rate for FY 2017 through February of 1.0 percent was less than the 2.3 percent growth rate recorded in the previous year. FY 2017 personal income tax cash collections through February were $14.6 million more than in FY 2016 through February while FY 2017 through February sales and use tax cash collections were $12.8 million more than the same period in FY 2016. FY 2017 through February departmental receipts were greater than the same period in FY 2016 by a total of $17.9 million. The lottery transfer for the FY 2017 year-to-date period through February was $7.0 million less than the same period in FY 2016 while fiscal year-to-date through February 2017 all other revenues were $16.8 million less than the same period last year.

Notable cash collections items on a February fiscal year-to-date basis included: Total personal income tax cash collections of approximately $804.8 million, up $14.6 million or 1.8 percent year-to-date. o Personal income tax withholding payments up $41.5 million or 5.6 percent year to date, significantly more than the 2.2 percent fiscal year to date growth rate recorded in February 2016. This increase includes the receipt of a large, infrequently occurring payment of $3.3 million in August 2016. o Personal income tax final payments up $8.8 million, or 27.9 percent year-to-date, a sharp reversal from the 6.2 percent fiscal year-to-date growth rate for the same period last fiscal year. o Personal income tax refunds and adjustments up $39.3 million year-to-date due primarily to the Division of Taxation working down the backlog of personal income tax refunds that resulted from enhanced fraud protocols and processing changes employed for the TY 2015 filing season and more rapid processing of TY 2016 income tax refunds. Year-to-date February 2017 sales and use tax cash collections up $12.8 million, or 1.9 percent, from FY 2016 through February although the spread recorded in February 2017 fiscal year-to-date is below the 2.8 percent growth recorded in February 2016 fiscal year-to-date. FY 2017 all other general revenue sources cash collections through February are down relative to last fiscal year at this time, due in large part to fiscal year-to-date-over-fiscal year-to-date declines in motor vehicle license and registration fee, estate and transfer tax, and cigarettes excise tax cash collections. Fiscal year-to-date through February 2017 departmental receipts cash collections are $17.8 million, or 6.7 percent, more than in FY 2016 through February primarily due to increased FY 2016 hospital licensing fee payments received in July 2016. The year-to-date FY 2017 lottery transfer is down $7.0 million from the same period last fiscal year due in large part to a significant decline in traditional lottery games cash collections and substantive underperformance in Twin River video lottery terminals offset in part by improved results from Twin River's traditional table games and poker tables and Newport Grand's video lottery terminals.

Notable month of February cash collections items included: February 2017 personal income tax cash collections of $32.1 million, 16.6 percent above February 2016 and significantly above the 22.1 percent growth rate recorded last year. o February 2017 personal income tax withholding payments cash collections were up 5.4 percent, or $5.2 million, versus February 2016. o A year-over-year decrease in February 2017 personal income tax refunds and adjustments of $2.5 million likely due to the delay in start of "tax season" at the federal level. o February 2017 personal income tax estimated payments were down 42.6 percent or $3.4 million less than February 2016. February 2017 sales and use tax cash collections of $69.1 million are 2.9 percent above February 2016. The increase in February 2017 sales and use tax cash collections is due to a modest increase in net Taxation receipts and registry receipts offset by a decrease in sales and use tax payments from the Providence Place Mall. Lower all other revenues cash collections than in February 2016 by a total of $12.1 million or 34.6 percent. Million dollar decreases in motor vehicle license and registration fees, cigarettes excise taxes, insurance companies gross premiums taxes, departmental receipts, and public utilities gross earnings taxes are driving this shortfall. Decreased lottery transfer for February 2017 of $5.0 million or 15.0 percent versus February 2016. o Substantial year-over-year decreases in the transfer from traditional lottery games and the video lottery terminals at Twin River were the main causes of the decrease.

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/2017.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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