PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Department of Revenue Office of Revenue Analysis this week published its biennial examination of the State of Rhode Island's tax expenditures.
The Tax Expenditure Report project is part of the State's continuing efforts to provide the citizens of Rhode Island and other interested parties with basic fiscal information and the same level of review of its tax incentives incentives as it does for its direct spending. The report provides information on the cost of tax preference items that are mandated under Rhode Island law, federal law, or other legal mandates.
Tax expenditures are legal mandates that provide incentives to taxpayers that meet the requirements of the mandates. For each tax expenditure, that biennial report provides a brief history, description, estimated value and number of beneficiaries, when possible, for each of the state's tax expenditures. It does not evaluate whether those tax expenditures succeed in achieving their goals.
The 2018 Tax Expenditures Report was prepared by the Office of Revenue Analysis in accordance with Rhode Island General Law Chapter 44-48.1.
"Oftentimes, the estimated cost of a tax expenditure item is made only once — at the time it is passed into law," said Dion. "The Tax Expenditures Report provides for an accounting of the cost of tax expenditure items on an ongoing basis. Absent a Tax Expenditures Report it would be difficult to assess the cost of a tax expenditure compared with an appropriated expenditure."
Much of the information needed to derive estimates was provided by the Rhode Island Division of Taxation, under the direction of Neena Sinha Savage, State Tax Administrator. The production of this report is not possible without the Division of Taxation's assistance.
The 2018 Tax Expenditures Report contains information on 238 tax expenditure items enacted in the Rhode Island General Laws as of January 1, 2017.