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ORA releases FY20 Unified Economic Development Report

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Department of Revenue, Office of Revenue Analysis this week published its annual examination of certain business tax credit programs offered by the State of Rhode Island.

The FY20 Unified Economic Development Report is part of the state's continuing efforts to provide policymakers, the citizens of Rhode Island and other interested parties with basic fiscal information. The report provides information on two tax preference items that are mandated under Rhode Island law – the Motion Picture Production Tax Credit and the Jobs Development Act tax rate reduction.

Tax credits are legal mandates that provide benefits to taxpayers that meet the requirements of the mandates. The report analyzes whether those tax credits succeeded in achieving their goals as described in the authorizing legislation.

The FY20 Unified Economic Development Report was prepared by the Office of Revenue Analysis in accordance with Rhode Island General Law Chapter 42-142-6.

"The Unified Economic Development Report assesses the impact of the covered tax incentives to see if they are meeting their goals and objectives," said Paul L. Dion, Ph.D., Chief of the Office of Revenue Analysis. "The Unified Economic Development Report also employs a cost-benefit analysis methodology developed by ORA to determine the effectiveness of the tax incentives included in the report."

Much of the information needed to derive estimates was provided by the Rhode Island Department of Revenue, Division of Taxation, and included in the Tax Credit and Incentive Report – Fiscal Year 2020 that was published in August 2020.

The FY 2020 Unified Economic Development Report covers five tax incentives, however, only two of the tax incentives that are required to be covered are still active and available for use by qualified taxpayers. ORA has been producing the Unified Economic Development Report on an annual basis since FY 2009. The scope of the required analysis for the report was expanded in 2014.

Dion noted that the production of the Unified Economic Development Report would not be possible without the dedicated effort of Madiha Zaffou, Ph.D. a Principal Economic and Policy Analyst in the Office of Revenue Analysis.

"The quality, breadth and depth of the report would be nowhere near what it is today, an accessible and insightful report, without Madiha's leadership on this project," Dion said.

Zaffou was ably assisted by Emily Fazio, a Senior Economic and Policy Analyst in the Office of Revenue Analysis.

The report can be found visiting www.dor.ri.gov and choosing the Reports tab.