Both Clark and Washoe counties reported double-digit increases in taxable sales for March, more than offsetting 40-50 percent decreases reported by several of Nevada’s small counties.
Total taxable sales rose 7.9 percent to $4.43 billion.
Of that, Clark made up $3.34 billion in sales, a 12.1 percent increase during the same month of 2013. Washoe was up 11.4 percent to $555.5 million.
Carson City also did well, reporting a 5.1 percent increase to $75.2 million. The increase was despite the fact auto sales, the capital’s largest tax generator, increased just 1.7 percent to $19.3 million. General Merchandise Stores, the second biggest sales tax producer, was up 5.1 percent to $16.6 million. Miscellaneous retailers 11.9 percent to $1 million and non-store retailers up 69 percent to $1 million.
Food Service and Drinking Places grew by 5.9 percent to $8.3 million in Carson.
But Churchill County and several other rural counties saw decreases in taxable sales compared with March of 2013. In Churchill’s case, the lion’s share of the 51 percent drop was a $19 million decrease in the Construction of Buildings category. That decrease brings the category, which had a one-time boon a year ago, back to a more normal level of $2.7 million for the month.
In Eureka, the 47 percent decrease was caused by a combination of categories. Mining went from $6.9 million to $2.7 million, Machinery Manufacturing from $4.1 million to $1.8 million and Wholesale Durable Goods from $9.5 million to $2 million. Eureka finished March with $19.88 million in taxable sales.
Lander County saw a 44 percent decrease to $23.1 million. The major culprit was Machinery Manufacturing, which dropped more than $14 million to $2.5 million.
In Mineral County, the decrease was 59.4 percent to just $4.1 million in sales. Most of that cut was in the Utilities category, which fell from $5.5 million to just $374,869.
Finally, Nye County’s taxable sales fell 49 percent to $44.3 million. Utilities went from $2 million to a negative $157,381 and Specialty Trade Contractors went from $42.25 million to just $5.2 million.
Food Services and Drinking Places were the big winner statewide, growing by 9.7 percent. But in Douglas County, that category was actually down 4.3 percent to $11.1 million. Douglas’s other big tax generator, General Merchandise Stores, was also down — 9.7 percent to $7.2 million.
Those decreases, however, were offset by solid increases in building material sales — up 24.6 percent — auto sales — up 10.7 percent — and other retail categories. As a result, Douglas finished March up 2.6 percent at $50.77 million.
Lyon County reported taxable sales of $29.55 million. That is up 8.8 percent over the previous March. A $1 million increase in Wholesale Durable Goods made up $2.8 million of the total.
For March, $86 million was collected for the state’s general fund, an increase of 6.9 percent.
Tax collections are 1.3 percent or $9.4 million below projections made a year ago by the Economic Forum for the fiscal year that began July 1.