PROVIDENCE – In fiscal year 2012, Rhode Island awarded more $34 million in five tax credit programs, including those offered through the motion picture tax credit and the Jobs Development Act.
Every year, the R.I. Division of Taxation publishes the Tax Credit and Incentive report, which documents the cost of the state’s five tax credits and the companies that received them.
The fiscal year 2012 report, which was released Wednesday, shows that the tax credits cost the state more than $34 million, a 50.4 percent increase from the $22.6 million lost in fiscal year 2011, although the report did not calculate what potential gains were created by the economic activity the programs supported.
The five tax credit programs: the R.I. Economic Development Corporation Project Status; Incentive for Innovation and Growth; Jobs Development Act; Distressed Areas Economic Revitalization Act – Enterprise Zones; and Motion Picture Production Tax Credit - reduced the tax payments of 39 corporations during the fiscal year.
The largest amount of tax credits came from the Jobs Development Act, a total of $16.4 million, of which CVS/pharmacy received 94 percent, valued at $15.4 million.
Among the tax credits, the most significant growth occurred in the motion picture tax credit, which grew 395 percent from $2.3 million to $11.4 million.
Paige Productions Inc., the production company for the ABC-TV series “Body of Proof,” received more than $8.1 million of the $11.4 million total of motion picture tax credits, while Moonrise LLC, a production company for the feature film “Moonrise Kingdom,” received $2.9 million in credits.
The largest single recipient of tax credits in fiscal 2012 was CVS/pharmacy, which received $20.3 million through the project status and jobs development programs. Over the past five years, tax credits have totaled close to $180 million, according to the Economic Progress Institute.
In 2008, legislators required the publication of the yearly Tax Credit and Incentive report as a way to determine if tax credits were an effective way to stimulate growth in the Rhode Island economy.
“After five years, only the most basic information … has been reported,” said an Economic Progress Institute release on the report. “Other required information about jobs, wages and benefits provided to employees has not been published because of a shortage of staff resources, according to senior officials.”
The Institute release added that due to the shortage of resources, “policymakers and taxpayers only know the recipients and cost of the tax credits but not whether these investments yielded any returns.”