Nevada retailers earn 5.7 percent increase in taxable sales over last year

Nevada retailers kicked off fiscal 2001 with a 5.7 percent increase in taxable sales compared with July 1999.

They reported a total of $2.47 billion in sales.

And one of the most successful on the list was Douglas County, which, until September and October numbers are in, is getting a statistical boost from the new retail stores that opened last fall along Carson City's southern border. Once those stores are open a full year, those increases will level out.

Douglas County reported a 19.9 percent increase for the month to $50.7 million in taxable sales. Because of the new retail stores, Douglas finished fiscal 2000 with a 15.6 percent gain, almost all of the difference in general merchandise.

In the same breath, Douglas County's boon is one reason Carson City's general merchandise sales have flattened out. But the capital is still reporting gains - 2.7 percent in July to $64.7 million.

Lyon County's sales were down for a second month during July - by 3.5 percent to $16.9 million. But that county's overall trend has been up because of growth in the Dayton corridor, which has drawn new retailers to the area east of Carson City.

Statewide, the best performers were eating and drinking places, which showed a 10.6 percent increase in July, food stores - up 14 percent - and auto dealers and gasoline which increased 9.5 percent.

The statewide totals were supported by a solid 8.3 percent gain in Clark County for the month. But most of the rest of the state was either flat or slightly off compared to a year ago. In fact, 10 rural counties showed decreases in total sales.

The worst decline was reported by Eureka County where total sales were just more than half the July totals for 1999 - $13.2 million. Eureka is the county hardest hit by the mining industry's slump. Humboldt, Mineral and White Pine counties also reported double-digit declines.

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