How Rhode Island Revenues Compare – 2014 Edition

PROVIDENCE R.I. (March 2015) – Today RIPEC released its annual report: How Rhode Island Revenues Compare, whichprovides details on state and local government revenue sources from Fiscal Year 2012, the most recent year for which national data are available. The publication compares Rhode Island’s fiscal system with those of the other 49 states and the national average using data released by the US Census Bureau.

Changes in revenue collections between FY 2008 and FY 2012 for the United States and Rhode Island, as measured on a per capita basis, demonstrate the impact of the Great Recession on national and state revenue. Though total revenues declined during the recession (FY 2007 through FY 2009), they began increasing in FY 2010, and, by FY 2012, total per capita revenues in Rhode Island were 19.6 percent greater than FY 2008 levels. Similarly, total per capita revenues nationally in FY 2012 were 10.6 percent above FY 2008 levels. This increase in Rhode Island was driven primarily by increases in property tax revenue collections (a 14.5 percent increase), and intergovernmental revenues (a 21.2 percent increase). Property taxes and intergovernmental revenues also increased nationally during this time period, but by smaller percentages (5.6 percent and 18.4 percent, respectively).

State and local governments in Rhode Island collected $11.2 billion in FY 2012, approximately $1.5 billion (12.0 percent), below FY 2011 revenues, whereas national state and local FY 2012 revenue collections of $3.0 trillion were $0.4 trillion (11.6 percent) less than FY 2011 collections. A significant contributor of the state and national overall decrease was related to declines in insurance trust fund revenues (e.g. public employee retirement systems, unemployment compensation, state workers’ compensation systems), which decreased by $1.3 billion in Rhode Island, and $388.1 billion nationally—decreases of 48.0 percent and 46.9 percent, respectively. Similarly, Rhode Island intergovernmental revenue decreased by 13.6 percent from FY 2011 to FY 2012 and decreased by 12.0 percent nationwide.

Rhode Island’s FY 2012 total tax burden remains among the highest in the country, ranking 13th highest as a share of personal income and on a per capita basis. By both measures – per $1,000 of personal income or per capita – Rhode Island’s total tax burden continues to be driven by the state’s high property tax collections, which now account for 44.9 percent of all tax collections in the Ocean State. In FY 2012, Rhode Island’s property tax collections were 4th highest in the United States as a share of personal income and 6th highest on a per capita basis. The state ranks lower among the fifty states for individual income, general sales, and other tax collections. Overall, the state’s FY 2012 tax collections of $109.78 per $1,000 of personal income were 6.8 percent greater than the national average of $102.81 per $1,000 of personal income; on a per capita basis, Rhode Island’s tax collections of $4,977 were 11.7 percent greater than the national average of $4,455.

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