Taxable sales flat for May

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Taxable sales continued to hover around last year's totals in May, refusing to give state budget planners a solid indication of what to expect next month.

Total taxable sales were down 1.9 percent to $2.67 billion following a 2.7 percent increase in April, which followed a 2.9 percent drop in March.

Since none of those numbers approaches the 5 percent increase projected for the fiscal year by the Economic Forum, sales tax revenues to the state continue to fall farther and farther behind the numbers used to build the budget.

Only five of Nevada's 17 counties reported higher levels of sales than for May 2001, but Carson City was one of them. The capital reported $75.5 million in taxable sales -- 5.8 percent more than a year ago. For the 11 months of the fiscal year, Carson had the best showing in the state with an overall 9 percent increase over the previous year.

Sales in Douglas County were off 5.7 percent to $47.4 million for the month.

The other counties reporting increases for May were: Humboldt 9.2 percent, Lincoln 26.3 percent, Nye 19.5 percent and White Pine 1.7 percent.

While the two biggest counties -- Clark and Washoe -- were down for the month, it was the rest of the state that suffered. Clark sales were off 2.2 percent and Washoe 0.3 percent.

But tiny Storey County reported just $3.68 million in sales -- 46.1 percent below May 2001. Esmeralda was off 28.2 percent, Lincoln 26.3 percent and Pershing 29.2 percent. Lander, Lyon and Mineral counties also reported double-digit declines in sales for the month.


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