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By Kaylen Auer
PBN Web Editor
By Kaylen Auer
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Revenue collected $10 million more in March than during the same month last year, driven by increased public utility and insurance company tax receipts as well as estate and transfer taxes, the department reported Monday.
Total cash collections for March 2014 totaled more than $304 million, an increase of 3.4 percent compared with the $294 million collected in March 2013. Although personal income tax collections dropped 3.5 percent to $39.1 million and departmental receipts fell 8.8 percent to $14.7 million, the declines were offset by gains in sales and use tax collections, lottery transfers and all other general revenue sources.
Other general revenue sources accounted for the largest portion of collections, totaling $155.2 million, or 5.8 percent more than the $146.7 million collected during the same month last fiscal year. The Department of Revenue attributed the gain to a $3.5 million increase in public utilities gross earnings tax receipts, a $4.4 million increase in insurance companies’ gross premiums tax receipts, and a sustained increase of $1.9 million in estate and transfer taxes.
While the March revenue figures represented an improvement over collections in March 2013, the revenue department reported last week that the $304 million total collections for the month of March fell 8.3 percent short of the $333 million originally projected, due in part to the fact that the R.I. Division of Taxation processed five personal income tax refund batches in March instead of the usual four.
On a fiscal year-to-date basis, the state collected $2.4 billion between July 2013 and March 2014, an increase of 2.1 percent over the $2.3 billion collected during the same nine-month period in fiscal year 2013.
Personal income tax collections have increased 3.7 percent to $759.5 million for the fiscal year to date, compared with $732.3 million for the previous fiscal year through March. Sales and use tax collections increased 3.3 percent, while department receipts, lottery transfers and all other general revenue sources remained largely flat compared with the fiscal 2013 figures.
“Fiscal year 2014 personal income tax withholding cash collections have shown steady growth, a sign that labor market conditions may be improving in the state,” said R.I. Director of Revenue Rosemary Booth Gallogly. “Cash collections remain strong, especially when one takes into account that fiscal year 2013 cash flows include $22.3 million of non-recurring tax amnesty collections.”
The adjusted growth rate in fiscal 2014 collections over fiscal 2013 collections through January, after accounting for tax amnesty payments received in fiscal 2013, is 3.1 percent, the revenue department said.