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R.I. Department of Revenue releases February hotel tax report

Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2018 State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Collections Report for February 2018. 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 February 2018 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) for all municipalities, except the City of Newport for the period of July through September 2016. In March 2017, the Division of Taxation distributed state hotel tax collections from room resellers and hosting platforms rental activity that occurred between October 2016 and January 2017, inclusive. These figures are included in the fiscal year-to-date over fiscal year-to-date collections for FY 2017.

The City of Newport did not provide a breakdown of state 5.0 percent hotel tax collections for hosting platforms and room resellers for July through September 2016 but has provided this data for all other time periods covered in this report.

Changes in the Distribution of the State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Revenues Rhode Island General Law Chapter 42-63.1 titled "Tourism and Development" provides that for state hotel tax returns and payments received after June 30, 2016 but prior to July 1, 2017 the distribution of state hotel tax revenues will be as provided for in Rhode Island General Law Section 42-63.1-3(a) while for returns and payments received after June 30, 2017 the distribution of state hotel tax revenues will be as provided for in Rhode Island General Law Section 42-63.1-3(b).

In general, the formula for the distribution of state hotel tax revenues to the various recipients for returns and payments received is as follows: Regional tourism districts: After June 30, 2016 and prior to July 1, 2017, 47 percent; After June 30, 2017, 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: After June 30, 2016 and prior to July 1, 2017, 31 percent; After June 30, 2017, 28 percent; The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau's share from hotels located outside of Providence and Warwick: After June 30, 2016 and prior to July 1, 2017, seven percent; After June 30, 2017, five percent; The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation's share from hotels located outside of Providence and Warwick: After June 30, 2016 and prior to July 1, 2017, 21 percent; After June 30, 2017, 28 percent; and The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation's share from hotels located in Providence and Warwick, except the Omni Providence Hotel: After June 30, 2016 and prior to July 1, 2017, 21 percent; After June 30, 2017, 24 percent.

Year-Over-Year Results of the February 2018 Report The findings of the February 2018 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 15.2 percent, nearly four times the 4.0 percent year-over-year increase reported for February 2017; o February 2018 state hotel tax collections include $45,875 of receipts from room rentals via hosting platforms and on-line travel companies vs. $8,497 reported for February 2017; All tourism districts, other than Aquidneck Island, South County, Statewide, and the Warwick Department of Economic Development, received more in state 5.0 percent hotel tax collections for February 2018 than for February 2017; o The regional tourism districts received $9,051 in revenues from the expansion of the state hotel tax base to room resellers and hosting platforms for February 2018 vs. $1,200 received for February 2017. Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (CommerceRI) received $75,782 more year-over-year in state hotel tax revenue for February 2018 than for February 2017; o CommerceRI collected $22,656 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 vs. $4,994 for January 2017. ^ February 2018 total state hotel tax collections include $45,875 in revenues from the expansion of the state hotel tax base broken down as follows: regional tourism districts: $9,051; Municipalities, $11,469; Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, $22,656; and Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, $2,699. * February 2017 total state hotel tax collections include $8,497 in revenues from the expansion of the state hotel tax base broken down as follows: regional tourism districts: $1,200; Municipalities, $2,124; Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, $4,994; and Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, $179.

Fiscal Year-to-Date-Over-Fiscal Year-To-Date Results of the February 2018 Report The findings of the February 2018 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 through February growth in state hotel tax receipts was 8.9 percent, nearly three times the 3.3 percent growth rate reported for the same period in FY 2017; o FY 2018 through February state hotel tax collections include $403,437 of receipts from room rentals via hosting platforms and on-line travel companies vs. $213,446 collected for FY 2017 through February; All tourism districts, other than the Convention Authority of Providence and Northern Rhode Island, received less in state 5.0 percent hotel tax collections for FY 2018 through February than for FY 2017 through February; o The regional tourism districts received $82,745 in revenues from the expansion of the state hotel tax base to room resellers and hosting platforms for year-to-date FY 2018 vs. $64,143 received for year-to-date FY 2017. The fiscal year-to-date through February 2017 figure does not include any revenues generated from these sources in the City of Newport for July through September 2016; Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (CommerceRI) received $1.13 million more fiscal year-to-date-over-fiscal year-to-date in state hotel tax revenue for FY 2018 than for FY 2017; o CommerceRI collected $191,618 in year-to-date FY 2018 state hotel taxes from the assessment of the state 5.0 percent hotel tax on room rentals via hosting platforms and by room resellers vs. $72,549 for year-to-date FY 2017. The fiscal year-to-date-over-fiscal year-to-date state hotel tax revenue allocation is summarized in Table 2 below: ^ FY 2018 year-to-date total state hotel tax collections include $403,437 in revenues from the expansion of the state hotel tax base broken down as follows: regional tourism districts: $82,745; Municipalities, $100,931; Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, $191,618; and Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, $28,143. * FY 2017 year-to-date total state hotel tax collections include $213,446 in revenues from the expansion of the state hotel tax base broken down as follows: regional tourism districts: $64,143; Municipalities, $53,362; Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, $72,549; and Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, $23,393.

The entire report can be found on the Department of Revenue's web site at http://www.dor.ri.gov/revenue-analysis/2018.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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