In today's fast moving world, keeping informed on the public policies that impact your personal or work life is a daunting task. Fortunately, technology can aid in that effort and that is the ultimate purpose of Key Policy Data.


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Category: Tax Burdens

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, Rhode Island collected $5.7 billion in state and local taxes. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average Rhode Island taxpayer can afford this level of taxation.


Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015



As shown in Chart 1, Rhode Island’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by private sector personal income) was the ninth highest in the nation for FY 2015 at 16.3 percent—or 13 percent above the national average of 14.4 percent.


Chart 1 Rhode Island State and Local Tax Burden FY 2015.jpg


#RI #taxburden in FY 2015 was the 9th highest in the nation at 16.3%— 13% above US avg @keypolicydata #RIleg #RIgov (click to tweet)


As shown in Chart 2, Rhode Island’s tax burden has increased over time by 104 percent to 16.3 percent in FY 2015 from 8 percent in FY 1950.


Chart 2 Rhode Island Tax Burden by Type of Tax FY 1950 to 2015.JPG


#RI #taxburden has increased 104% between FY 1950 to 2015 to 16.3% from 8% @keypolicydata #RIleg #RIgov (click to tweet)


Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015


As shown in Chart 3, Rhode Island’s 16.3 percent tax burden is greater than these combined industries: manufacturing (8.6 percent), construction (5.4 percent),and information (2.3 percent).


Chart 3 Rhode Island State and Local Tax Burden vs. Major Industry FY 2015.JPG 


#RI #taxburden > combined industries: manufacturing, construction, and information @keypolicydata #RIleg #RIgov (click to tweet)


Rhode Island’s high tax burden by type is driven by a high property tax burden (7.1 percent, 5th highest).


Of course, the tax burdens for local government can vary just as much as they do among the 50 states. As such, we have also calculated the local government tax burden for every county in Rhode Island—this includes every taxing jurisdiction within the geographic county borders whether it is a city, a special district, or county government itself.



Rhode Island only has 5 counties shown below from the highest local government tax burden to the lowest:


  • Washington County, RI (8.1 percent)
  • Newport County, RI (7.9 percent)
  • Providence County, RI (7.2 percent)
  • Kent County, RI (6.8 percent)
  • Bristol County, RI (5.7 percent)


 Chart 4 Rhode Island Local Tax Burden by County FY 2015.JPG


Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015



Finally, don’t forget to watch our exclusive time-lapse video of state and local tax burdens over the last 65 years! See if your state has been above or below the national average?



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