After three months of positive numbers, Carson City's apparent recovery ended in November as taxable sales slipped seven-tenths of a percent to $67 million. Overall, Carson is still up 3 percent for the fiscal year so far.
The capital's losses in general merchandise stores were again the culprit - down 12 percent for the month. And unlike some past months, auto sales didn't save the day. They were essentially flat compared to last year.
This is in contrast to the rest of the state where general merchandise showed a 12.9 percent increase for the month and auto sales and gasoline a 5.8 percent increase.
The strongest category for November was building materials and hardware which turned in a 17.2 percent increase.
Taxable sales continued to lead Nevada's economic recovery in November, posting a 7.5 percent increase over the same month of 2002.
Gov. Kenny Guinn said this is the fifth month in a row the state has collected more from sales taxes than projected.
"The latest figures show both consumer confidence and very good business climate in Nevada," he said. "I am encouraged by the good economic news and hope that our sales tax collections continue to help offset gaming revenues, which have not met projections."
Total taxable sales for the first five months of fiscal 2004 are 10.7 percent ahead of the same period last year. That is more than double the increase projected by the Economic Forum - which was used to build the state budget.
And with the changes in tax collection allowances approved by the Legislature, the amount of tax revenue the state has realized from sales of merchandise totaled 11.8 percent for November and 12.2 percent for the five month period. Gross tax revenues collected in November were $212.1 million.
Lawmakers last year reduced the amount of sales taxes merchants are allowed to keep as a fee for collecting and processing the taxes
Only Churchill and Lincoln counties joined Carson City in the negative category for November. The rest of the counties posted increases in November including double digit jumps in Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing and Storey.
Most dramatic was Storey County where huge increases in heavy construction, fixture and industrial machinery purchases produced a 56 percent increase to $4.3 million for the month.
Douglas County, relying on healthy increases in retail store categories, showed an 8.3 percent increase for the month to $51.1 million total taxable sales.