Transparency and Accountability for Economic Development Tax Incentives

The Rhode Island Economic Development Tax Incentives Evaluation Act of 2013 requires state analysts to conduct cost-benefit analyses of a number of the state’s economic development tax incentives. The law requires the Governor to include recommendations for continuing, modifying or terminating recently evaluated incentives in her proposed budget. Credits are evaluated every three years. The first set of evaluations was scheduled to be produced by the Office of Revenue Analysis by June 30, 2015, but has not yet been released.

State law also requires the Division of Taxation to prepare an annual Tax Credit and Incentive Report showing the cost of certain tax credits and the companies that received them. The most recent report was released in August, 2015. There isn’t alignment between this law and the 2013 Analysis Law. Only 4 of the credits required to be analyzed under the 2013 law are included in the Tax Credit and Incentive Report. Conversely, two of the credits reported in the Tax Credit and Incentive Report and not included in the 2013 law.