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Tax amnesty boosts February cash collections

Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2018 Cash Collections Report for February 2018 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 Mark A. Furcolo noted: "FY 2018 total general revenue cash collections through February are up 7.7 percent, or $170.2 million more than was received last fiscal year through February of 2017. Included in the FY 2018 year-to-date through February figure are $20.8 million of tax and interest payments received from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. The sizeable increase in general revenue cash collections on a fiscal year-to-date basis is attributable to estate and transfer tax payments being $74.1 million more in FY 2018, personal income tax cash collections $61.6 million ahead of FY 2017, and sales and use tax receipts running $35.1 million higher in FY 2018.

The growth rate for FY 2018 through January of 7.7 percent (6.8 percent when adjusting for the inflow of tax and interest payments from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program) is significantly higher than the 1.0 percent growth rate recorded in the FY 2017 through February period last year."

Notable cash collections items on a February fiscal year-to-date basis included: Total personal income tax cash collections of approximately $866.4 million, up $61.6 million or 7.7 percent year-to-date. o Personal income tax withholding payments up $32.1 million or 4.3 percent year-to-date, in spite of the fact that FY 2017 year-to-date through February personal income tax withholding payments included the receipt of large deposit(s) of $3.3 million. It should be noted that FY 2018 through February personal income tax withholding payments include $439,319 of cash receipts from the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. o Personal income tax refunds and adjustments were $3.1 million, or 2.2 percent, less than in FY 2017 year-to-date through February. FY 2017 through February refunds and adjustments include $9.3 million of refunds paid out in July and August 2016 that were accrued back to FY 2016 while FY 2018 through February refunds and adjustments include a transfer of $1.0 million to departmental receipts for interest on overdue taxes paid through the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. o Personal income tax final payments were up $4.4 million through February of FY 2018, or 10.8 percent. FY 2018 year-to-date personal income tax final payments cash collections include $9.5 million in tax and interest payments from the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. o FY 2018 through February personal income tax estimated payments cash collections were $22.0 million more than in FY 2017 through February, a variance of 14.3 percent. It may be that personal income tax filers shifted final payments that were going to be made in April 2018 to December 2017 estimated payments in response to the passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Estimated payment vouchers postmarked in late December would have been received and deposited in January 2018. Year-to-date FY 2018 through February sales and use tax cash collections are up $35.1 million in comparison to FY 2017 through February with Net Taxation receipts $32.9 million more, or 5.5 percent, Registry Receipts $1.4 million more, or 2.0 percent, and Providence Place Mall sales tax collections $628,635, or 6.6 percent, more than the prior year. FY 2018 through February Net Taxation receipts include $4.3 million of tax and interest payments realized from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. FY 2018 all other general revenue sources cash collections through February are up $69.4 million relative to last fiscal year at this time. This increase reflects higher estate and transfer tax cash collections of $74.1 million offset by lower insurance company gross premiums tax cash collections of $15.7 million. Included in the FY 2018 year-to-date through February figure for other general revenue sources are $5.1 million of tax and interest payments received from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. Fiscal year-to-date through February 2018 departmental receipts cash collections were $3.1 million, or 1.1 percent, more than in FY 2017 through February. Included in the FY 2018 year-to-date through February figure are $1.44 million of tax and interest payments received from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. The lottery transfer in FY 2018 year-to-date is $1.1 million more than in FY 2017 through February, a variance of 0.5 percent. This increase is attributable in large part to an increase of $1.8 million in traditional lottery games (i.e., scratch tickets, Powerball, etc.), offset by a decline in revenue from casino gaming activity at Twin River and Newport Grand. * FY 2018 YTD figures include $20.8 million in tax and interest payments received from the 2017 Tax Amnesty. Net of these payments, the growth rate is 6.8 percent.

Notable month of February cash collections items included: February 2018 personal income tax cash collections decreased by $3.2 million, 10.1 percent from February 2017. o The decrease in February 2018 personal income tax cash collections was driven largely by an increase in refunds and adjustments of $10.8 million as the beginning of tax season commenced. o An increase in withholding payments of $4.0 million from the amount received in February 2017. February 2018 personal income tax withholding payments included $310,377 in tax and interest payments generated by the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. o A decrease in estimated payments of $1.6 million and an increase in final payments of $5.2 million which includes $5.7 million in tax and interest payments from the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. Increased February 2018 sales and use tax cash collections of $9.9 million or 14.3 percent from February 2017 with Net Taxation cash collections $8.6 million more. Included in this amount is $3.2 million of tax and interest payments generated by the 2017 Tax Amnesty. February 2018 estate and transfer tax cash collections were $4.2 million more than in February 2017 and include $449,403 of tax and interest payments generated by the 2017 Tax Amnesty. February 2018 business corporation tax cash collections were $2.2 million more than in February 2017, a variance of 54.6 percent. The February 2018 figure includes $2.0 million in tax and interest payments from the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. Higher departmental receipts cash collections in February 2018 of $1.6 million, an 11.6 percent increase. This variance includes approximately $5,000 in tax and interest payments from the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. The lottery transfer for February 2018 was $311,438 less than in February 2017, a variance of 1.1 percent, marking the second straight month that the year-over-year growth in the lottery transfer has been negative. * February 2018 figures include $11.8 million in tax and interest payments received from the 2017 Tax Amnesty. Net of February tax amnesty payments, the growth rate is 1.6 percent.

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/2018.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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