Taxable sales in Nevada rose 6 percent in March compared to the same month last year to just over $3 billion, but Carson City didn't share in the wealth.
Carson City's collections were down three-tenths of a percent compared with $75.5 million during the same month last year.
Larry Osborne, Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce executive vice president, said the key difference was the loss of Wal-Mart since last March. Without that, he said, the capital should have shown an increase in total sales.
To highlight that analysis, Douglas County's numbers for March increased 12.3 percent to $52.1 million. That's where Carson City's Wal-Mart moved.
Gov. Kenny Guinn said despite the relatively healthy increase, the state is still recovering from the business downturn caused by Sept. 11 and the economic slump which began even before the terrorist attacks.
He said March added another $1.8 million to the shortfall between the economic forum's sales tax projections and the amount collected. The deficit is now $22.3 million below the amounts used to build this year's state budget.
The largest increases reported were in heavy construction, which jumped 411 percent for the month. The start of the construction season also showed in the building materials and hardware category which was up 9.9 percent for the month.
Automotive dealers and gasoline sales, which have helped carry the state -- and especially Carson City -- through most of the economic slump, were also up 8.9 percent.
Five counties -- Humboldt, Lander, Pershing, Storey and White Pine -- showed decreases in total sales for the month. That is fewer than the average of eight counties in the red for most months this year.
Sales in Washoe County were up 4.1 percent to $471.5 million in March. Sales in Clark County were up 5.7 percent to $2.2 billion.