Updated March 27 at 12:27am

RIPEC: R.I. tax burden among highest in country


PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s fiscal year 2010 tax burden was among the highest in the country, according to the R.I. Public Expenditure Council’s annual report: “How Rhode Island Revenues Compare.”

RIPEC’s report, released Monday, provides details on state and local government revenue sources from fiscal year 2010 using the most recent data available, released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Sept. 25, 2010.

According to RIPEC, the Ocean State ranked 13th highest in the nation for tax burden both as a share of personal income and on a per capital basis. In fiscal year 2009, the state’s tax burden was 11th highest per $1,000 of personal income and 13th highest per capita.

“Although Rhode Island moved down in the national rankings when tax burden was measured as a share of personal income, year-over-year tax collections increased from $109.84 per $1,000 of personal income to $111.34 per $1,000 of personal income,” said the report.

The state’s high property tax collections accounted for more than 45 percent of all tax collection in Rhode Island during fiscal year 2010.

The Ocean State ranked 13th highest for total tax collections, but - excluding the property tax - the state’s tax collections were lower than the national average, as were the state’s per capita tax collections.

Excluding property tax collections, the fiscal year 2010 tax revenue in Rhode Island were on par with the tax revenue during fiscal year 2006.

Despite declines in most broad-based taxes, state and local government collected $12 billion during the 2010 fiscal year, an increase of roughly 60 percent over 2009 revenue.

Nationally, state and local fiscal year 2010 revenue collections rose 53.5 percent over fiscal year 2009 numbers.

“A significant contributor of the increase, both in Rhode Island and nationally, was related to growth in insurance trust fund revenues (e.g. public employee retirement systems, unemployment compensation, state workers’ compensation systems), which increased by $3.8 billion in Rhode Island ($1.0 trillion nationally),” said the report.

The RIPEC report added that intergovernmental revenue also increased during the 2010 fiscal year and that funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 were partially responsible for the rise.

Rhode Island’s total 2010 revenue was also bolstered by rising property taxes, charges and miscellaneous revenue and other taxes, including corporate income taxes.

To view the full report, visit: www.ripec.org.


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