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May 2019 Cash Collections report released

Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2019 Cash Collections Report for May 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 May are up 6.9 percent, or $230.3 million more than was received last fiscal year through May of 2018." Total general revenues are bolstered by $149.3 million in general business tax 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 $25.3 million of lottery revenues vs. $13.4 million FY 2018 through May. Personal income tax cash collections are $37.3 million more on a fiscal year-to-date basis than the same period in FY 2018. The advancement of the lottery transfer and the nearly $100 million more in personal income tax and sales and use tax receipts help to offset the collection of $72.3 million in estate and transfer tax cash collections in FY 2018 through May which, to date, have reoccurred in much smaller amount(s) in FY 2019.

Notable cash collections items on a May fiscal year-to-date basis included: Total personal income tax cash collections of $1.24 billion, up $34.6 million or 2.9 percent year-to-date. o Personal income tax final payments increased by $54.6 million or 25.7 percent in fiscal year-to-date 2019 vs. fiscal year-to-date 2018. Last year, FY 2018 year-to-date personal income tax final payments were $29.8 million more than the same period in FY 2017, a variance of 16.4%, and included $6.8 million of tax amnesty receipts. o Personal income tax withholding payments increased by $26.5 million or 2.4 percent year-to-date, a decrease from the 4.5 percent fiscal year to date growth rate recorded in May 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 $34.2 million, or 15.7 percent year-to-date. Personal income tax estimated payments through May of FY 2018 were $28.6 million, or 15.1 percent, more than the same period in FY 2017. The FY 2018 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 $12.3 million or 3.9 percent more than last fiscal year through May when personal income tax refunds and adjustment were $3.8 million or 1.2 percent more than the prior year. Year-to-date May 2019 sales and use tax cash collections are up 6.7 percent in comparison to FY 2018 through May with total non-motor vehicle receipts $57.4 million more, meal and beverage receipts 1.0 percent more and motor vehicle sales and use tax receipts (i.e., Registry Receipts) $7.0 million more than the prior year. All other general revenue sources cash collections through May are up $63.3 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 May 2019 departmental receipts cash collections are $31.6 million, or 9.1 percent, more than in FY 2018 through May due in large part to increased FY 2018 hospital licensing fee payments received in July 2018 of $13.5 million and increased securities registration fees and insurance claims adjuster license fees of nearly $11.0 million combined. These latter two items were subject to fee increases in FY 2019. The lottery transfer in the new fiscal year reflects transfers of $354 million in FY 2019 through May. This transfer amount includes transfers from gaming activity in July through April 2019. In FY 2018 through May, cash generated by gaming activity in July through April 2018 were transferred to the general fund.

FY 2018 Year-to-Date figures include $21.4 million received under the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. Net of FY 2018 Year-to-Date tax amnesty receipts, the growth rate is 8.6 percent.

Notable month of May cash collections items included: Decreased May 2019 personal income tax cash collections of $2.7 million, 3.0 percent less than May 2018. o The decrease in May personal income tax cash collections is overwhelmingly attributable to decreased withholding tax payments of $6.6 million, or 6.5 percent, offset in part by decreased refunds and adjustments of $3.6 million, or 16.6 percent. May 2019 sales and use tax cash collections were up $8.3 million relative to May 2018, or 9.8 percent. The year-over-year growth in sales and use taxes received from sales activity other than motor vehicle purchases of 11.4 percent include an increase in sales tax receipts from meals and beverages prepared for immediate consumption of 7.4 percent. In addition, May 2019 motor vehicle use tax receipts were 2.2 percent less than in May 2018. The May 2019 lottery transfer trailed the May 2018 lottery transfer by 24.9 percent due in large part to the contemporaneous transfer of $13.4 million in lottery receipts in May 2018 vs. $1.2 million in May 2019. Strong performance in Tiverton Casino Hotel VLTs continued in May as cash collections were $3.0 million more than was generated at Newport Grand in May 2018. Departmental receipts cash collections are $1.6 million more in May 2019 vs. May 2018, a variance of 9.5 percent. This increase is attributable primarily to increased expense recoveries from public utility companies by the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers.

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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