WASHINGTON – Rhode Island’s state debt per capita of $8,769 for fiscal year 2012 ranks third-highest in the United States, according to the Tax Foundation’s 2014 “Facts and Figures” report released Wednesday.
The annual report compiles tax and collections data for each of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and ranks each state on 39 different measures of tax and fiscal policy.
The Ocean State ranked No. 8 nationwide for highest state and local tax burden per capita as a share of state income, reported at $4,676 for fiscal year 2010, or 10.5 percent of state income. Rhode Island’s ranking was unchanged from the previous fiscal year, when the tax burden was $4,627 per capita or 10.9 percent of state income.
The state with the highest tax burden per capita was New York with $6,622, or 12.6 percent of state income, while Wyoming claimed the lowest tax burden per capita at $3,500, or 6.9 percent of state income.
The national average state and local tax burden per capita represented 9.8 percent of state income, or $4,217 per resident.
In accordance with its relatively high tax burden, Rhode Island also performed poorly in the Tax Foundation’s Tax Freedom Day ranking. Tax Freedom Day represents the day of the year (dated from Jan. 1) on which a person in the U.S. will have earned enough money to pay all federal, state and local taxes for the year.
In Rhode Island, Tax Freedom Day for 2013 was April 19, meaning that between Jan. 1 and April 19, the average Rhode Island resident earned enough money to cover all of his or her taxes for that year.
Rhode Island’s Tax Freedom Day ranked at No. 12, where No. 1 represents the state where wage-earners take the longest amount of time to earn “tax freedom” and No. 50 represents the state where residents earn tax freedom the quickest.
Connecticut ranked No. 1 for its Tax Freedom Day on May 13, while Mississippi ranked No. 50 at March 29. Massachusetts’ Tax Freedom Day was April 25 last year, ranking the Bay State at No. 4.
Federal assistance accounted for 34.5 percent of Rhode Island’s general revenue in fiscal year 2012, the Tax Foundation reported, a slight decline compared with fiscal 2011 when federal aid as a share of state income was 38.3 percent. Rhode Island ranked at No. 26 in the nation for federal aid as a percentage of general revenue.
The “Facts and Figures” report also included Rhode Island’s business tax climate, which was previously released in the Tax Foundation’s 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index and reported by Providence Business News. The Ocean State placed at No. 46 in the country for overall business tax climate, above Minnesota, California, New Jersey and New York.