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March 2019 Cash Collections Report available

Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2019 Cash Collections Report for March 2019. The Cash Collections Report, which is issued monthly, 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 2019 total general revenue cash collections through March are up 5.7 percent, or $151.2 million more than was received last fiscal year through March of 2018." Total general revenues are bolstered by $107.2 million in receipts due in part to the change in the estimated payments schedule for business taxpayers. The increase in FY 2019 total general revenues also includes the contemporaneous transfer of $45.4 million of lottery revenues vs. $20.1 million for the same period last year. This additional $25.3 million transfer of lottery proceeds helps to offset the receipt of nearly $67.2 million in estate and transfer tax cash collections in July and October 2017 which to date have reoccurred in much smaller amount(s) in FY 2019. FY 2019 personal income tax cash collections through March were $15.8 million less than in FY 2018 through March while FY 2019 through March sales and use tax cash collections were $47.9 million above the same period last fiscal year. It should be noted that sales and use tax cash collections through March generally correspond to taxable retail transactions made through February.

Notable cash collections items on a March fiscal year-to-date basis included: Total personal income tax cash collections of $923.3 million, down $15.8 million or 1.7 percent year-to-date. o Personal income tax withholding payments increased by $27.4 million or 3.1 percent year-to-date, a decrease from the 4.1 percent fiscal year to date growth rate recorded in March 2018. FY 2019 year-to-date personal income tax withholding payments include the receipt of $5.8 million in large, infrequently occurring payment(s). o Personal income tax estimated payments are down $35.8 million, or 19.7 percent year-to-date. Personal income tax estimated payments through March of FY 2018 were $22.9 million, or 14.4 percent, more than the same period in FY 2017. This increase was likely attributable to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's provision that caps the amount of state and local taxes than can be deducted on a taxpayer's federal income tax return beginning in tax year 2018. o Personal income tax refunds and adjustments are $16.1 million or 7.8 percent more than last fiscal year through March when personal income tax refunds and adjustment were $3.4 million or 1.6 percent less than the prior year. Year-to-date March 2019 sales and use tax cash collections are up 6.1 percent in comparison to FY 2018 through March with total non-motor vehicle receipts $43.3 million more, meal and beverage receipts 0.4 percent less and motor vehicle sales and use tax receipts (i.e., Registry Receipts) $4.6 million more than the prior year. All other general revenue sources cash collections through March are up $42.2 million relative to the same period last fiscal year. This increase reflects sharply higher business corporation, public utilities gross earnings, insurance company gross premiums, and bank deposits tax cash collections due to the change in the estimated payment schedule for business taxes offsetting lower estate and transfer tax, motor vehicle registration and license fee, and cigarette and other tobacco products tax cash collections in FY 2019 year-to-date. Fiscal year-to-date through March 2019 departmental receipts cash collections are $31.9 million, or 10.6 percent, more than in FY 2018 through March due in large part to increased FY 2018 hospital licensing fee payments received in July 2018 of $13.8 million. The lottery transfer in the new fiscal year reflects transfers of $302.5 million in FY 2019 through March. This transfer amount includes transfers from gaming activity in July through February 2019 as well as the contemporaneous transfer of March 2019 gaming receipts. In FY 2018 through March, cash generated by gaming activity in July through February 2018 were transferred to the general fund along with contemporaneous March 2018 receipts.

Notable month of March cash collections items included: Increased March 2019 personal income tax cash collections of $9.9 million, 13.6 percent more than March 2018. o The increase in March personal income tax cash collections is attributable to increased final payments of $7.6million, or 33.2 percent, increased withholding tax payments of $9.7 million, or 8.8 percent, and increased refunds and adjustments of $7.6 million, or 11.3 percent. March 2019 sales and use tax cash collections were up $4.3 million relative to March 2018, or 6.0 percent. The year-over-year growth in sales and use taxes received from sales activity other than motor vehicle purchases of 8.1 percent include a decrease in sales tax receipts from meals and beverages prepared for immediate consumption of 7.7 percent. In addition, March 2019 motor vehicle use tax receipts were 7.5 percent less than in March 2018. The March 2019 lottery transfer exceeded the March 2018 lottery transfer by 3.2 percent as strong performance in Tiverton Casino Hotel VLTs offset weakness in traditional lottery products. Higher departmental receipts cash collections of $670,889, a variance of 4.2 percent, in March 2019 vs. March 2018 due to strong insurance agent and claims adjuster license fees and registration fees for securities. These latter two items were subject to fee increases in FY 2019.

March 2018 figures include $542,326 received under the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. Net of March tax amnesty receipts, the growth rate is 0.6 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/2019.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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