How Rhode Island Revenues Compare: 2019 Edition

Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council

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How Rhode Island Revenues Compare: 2019 Edition

PROVIDENCE R.I. (December 2019) – Today RIPEC released its annual report, How Rhode Island Revenues Compare: 2019 Edition, which provides details on state and local government revenue sources from Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the most recent year for which 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 U.S. Census Bureau. To see the full report, click here.

The CEO and President of RIPEC John Simmons remarked that “the data show that Rhode Island has one of the largest tax burdens in the United States, particularly in terms of property taxes.” These data do not yet capture the automobile tax phaseout, which passed in 2017, but Simmons noted that “policymakers focused on economic development should consider decreasing the cost of doing business in Rhode Island through further systematic restructuring of the tax system.”

Highlights in How Rhode Island Revenues Compare: 2019 Edition include:


  • All Government Revenues: In FY 2017, Rhode Island’s total revenues—including taxes, charges and miscellaneous revenues, intergovernmental revenues, and insurance trust, utility, and liquor store revenues—ranked 26th highest in the country per $1,000 of personal income and 20th highest on a per capita basis. In FY 2007, Rhode Island ranked 20th for total government revenue collections as a share of personal income and 13th per capita.
  • Total Tax Revenues: Rhode Island’s total tax collections in FY 2017 were 9th highest in the nation on a personal income basis ($106.19 per $1,000) and 12th highest on a per capita basis ($5,559). Of the New England states, Rhode Island had the 3rd highest tax revenues on a personal income basis and the 4th highest on a per capita basis. 
  • Individual Income Tax Revenues: Rhode Island’s individual income tax collections of $22.39 per $1,000 of personal income in FY 2017 were 1.6 percent lower than the national average of $22.76 per $1,000 of personal income. Similarly, Rhode Island’s per capita individual income tax collections of $1,172 per capita were 1.4 percent lower than the national average of $1,189.
  • Property Tax Revenues: Rhode Island’s FY 2017 property tax collections were 38.3 percent higher than the national average per $1,000 of personal income and 38.6 percent higher than the national average in per capita terms. Every New England state but Massachusetts ranked in the top ten states nationally for property tax collections as a share of personal income and all six New England states ranked in the top ten nationally for property tax collections per capita. 
  • General Sales Tax Revenues: In FY 2017, Rhode Island’s general sales tax revenues on a personal income basis were $18.01 per $1,000 of personal income, ranking 2nd highest in the region and 38th highest in the nation. On a personal income basis, Rhode Island’s revenues were 24.6 percent lower than the national average and decreased by 10.8 percent from FY 2007. On a per capita basis, Rhode Island’s FY 2017 general sales tax revenues of $943 ranked 35th nationally and 3rd regionally. Per capita general sales tax collections in Rhode Island were 24.3 percent below national average and increased 14.4 percent from FY 2007.
  • Charges and Miscellaneous Revenues: In FY 2017, Rhode Island charges and miscellaneous revenues were 8.2 percent less than the national average on a personal income basis. Collections of $41.27 per $1,000 of personal income ranked 34th nationally. On a per capita basis, Rhode Island’s FY 2017 revenues of $2,161 were 7.9 percent below the national average and ranked 34th nationally.
  • Intergovernmental Revenues: At $47.42 per $1,000 of personal income, Rhode Island’s intergovernmental revenues were 12.2 percent higher than the national average and 21st highest nationally. On a per capita basis, intergovernmental revenues of $2,482 in FY 2017 were 12.5 percent higher than the national average and ranked Rhode Island 18th highest in the nation.
  • Other Revenues: In FY 2017, other revenues (comprised of liquor store, utility, and insurance trust revenues) were lower in Rhode Island than the national average both on a personal income and per capita basis. From FY 2007 to FY 2017, other revenues decreased by 34.5 percent on a personal income basis and by 16.0 percent on a per capita basis.