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September 2019 Revenue Assessment Report available

Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue (DOR) today released its FY 2020 Revenue Assessment Report for September 2019. The Revenue Assessment Report, which is issued on a monthly basis, compares the adjusted general revenues by revenue source on a fiscal year-to-date and monthly basis to expected general revenues by revenue source. Expected general revenues are estimated by the DOR's Office of Revenue Analysis from the revenue estimates enacted in the FY 2020 budget. The methodology underlying the Office of Revenue Analysis' estimates is contained in the report.

September Year-To-Date Performance. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, the September 2019 report shows that adjusted total general revenues are behind expected total general revenues, based on the revenue estimates enacted in the FY 2020 budget and the Office of Revenue Analysis' estimation methodology, with adjusted total general revenues $3.4 million less than expected total general revenues, a variance of 0.4%. The largest drivers of this underperformance are personal income tax refunds and adjustments which are $6.7 million more than expected, a variance of 35.9%, and business corporation tax revenues which are $6.6 million below expectations, or 15.6%. Further, lottery transfer and departmental receipts adjusted revenues through September trail expected revenues by $4.8 million and $4.6 million respectively, yielding respective variances of 7.3% and 9.4%. Finally, adjusted personal income withholding tax revenues are $3.9 million behind expectations, a variance of 1.3%. These shortfalls are offset by adjusted insurance company gross premiums tax revenues which are $6.2 million more than expected through September, a variance of 28.0%; financial institutions tax revenues which are $2.7 million above expectations, a difference of 82.8%; and public utilities gross earnings tax revenues which lead expectations by $2.1 million or 9.3%. September is the month of the first quarterly payment for general business taxpayers in FY 2020. In addition, adjusted fiscal-year-to-date sales and use tax revenues are $1.7 million, or 0.5%, ahead of the estimate.

Regarding September year-to-date performance, Director of Revenue Mark A. Furcolo made the following observations: Fiscal year-to-date adjusted total general revenues through September trail expectations by $3.4 million, or 0.4%, essentially in line with expectations; Adjusted personal income tax revenues are $1.3 million above expectations, a variance of 0.4%, due largely to strong personal income tax estimated payments revenues which are $10.1 million above the estimate; Adjusted sales and use tax revenues through September are $1.6 million more than expected for FY 2020 through September; Fiscal year-to-date adjusted departmental receipts revenues are $4.6 million below the fiscal year-to-date through September estimate, a variance of 9.4%; Lottery transfer adjusted fiscal year-to-date through September revenues, reflecting August gaming activity, are $4.8 million below expectations as the newly opened Encore Boston Casino continues to negatively impact gaming at the Twin River Casino Hotel; Adjusted business corporation tax revenues are $6.6 million behind the estimate but generally strong performance in the other general business tax revenues more than offsets this shortfall.

September Monthly Performance. For the month of September, the report indicates that adjusted total general revenues are $6.1 million above expectations for the month or a variance of 1.5%. The primary drivers of this overage are personal income tax revenues which are $7.2 million, or 4.8%, above expectations. Within personal income tax revenues, personal income tax estimated payments revenues are $8.2 million more than the estimate for September, a variance of 17.7 percent. In addition to personal income tax revenues, sharper better than expected revenue increases were realized in insurance company gross premiums tax, financial institutions tax, and public utilities gross earnings tax revenues as quarterly tax payments due in September were above the estimate by a combined $10.6 million. Finally, estate and transfer tax and sales and use tax revenues were both ahead of expectations for the month, by $3.7 million and $1.0 million respectively. Negative variances were reported in business corporation tax revenues, $(9.2 million) or 27.8%; cigarette and other tobacco products tax revenues, $(2.9 million) or 22.1%; lottery transfer revenues, $(2.3 million), or 7.0%; and departmental receipts revenues, $(2.1 million), or 12.2%.

The entire report can be found on the Department of Revenue's web site at http://www.dor.ri.gov/revenue-analysis/2020, 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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