Eureka tax boom bails out state

A December boom in tiny Eureka County single-handedly kept Nevada's sales tax numbers from going down in December.

While Clark County was down $34 million, Washoe just about flat and Carson City down $5.6 million, Eureka reported huge increases in categories generally associated with the mining industry.

Taxable sales jumped nearly 300 percent compared with December 2005, a $58 million increase that more than offset the flat or negative numbers reported by most other counties.

Metal manufacturing in Eureka jumped from $150,348 to nearly $12.6 million. Machinery manufacturing went from $2.6 million in December 2005 to $33.8 million this past December. Wholesale totals in durable goods went up more than $11 million to $13.7 million.

With gold prices high and the mining industry thriving, the other counties to show significant increases compared to the previous December were Nevada's other mining centers: Elko, Esmeralda and Humboldt.

In Elko, the increase was nearly 27 percent to $111.7 million and Humboldt was up 14.6 percent to $20 million. Although Esmeralda was up more than 19 percent, total sales there were still just $807,000.

In Carson City, Douglas, Clark and Washoe, categories related to residential construction were all down. In Carson, building materials sales were off nearly 23 percent, 11 percent in Douglas, 26 percent in Clark and almost 31 percent in Washoe. Furniture and home appliance sales were down by 65 percent statewide.

Carson got little help from its two biggest categories. Auto parts and dealer sales were up just six-tenths of a percent to $24.1 million and General Merchandise Stores up a half percent at $20.3 million.

Total sales in Carson City fell 5.6 percent to $93.3 million - in line with the capital's negative 4.3 percent sales for the first half of the fiscal year.

Douglas managed to get through the month with a 1 percent overall increase to $77.6 million in taxable sales. They did it despite a 41 percent decrease in motor vehicle and parts sales to $2.8 million. Food service and drinking places - the Stateline casinos - more than offset that drop with a 10 percent increase to $15.6 million in taxable sales for the month.

Statewide, total taxable sales were just under $4.7 billion for the month. That is nine-tenths of a percent more than the same month a year earlier.

That puts total taxable sales in Nevada for the first six months of the fiscal year just over the $25 billion mark. Because that is less than projected by the Economic Forum, state revenues have now fallen $2.7 million below their forecast for the fiscal year. The forum projections are used to build the state budget.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.

Taxable sales

County Taxable sales Change from Dec. 2005

Statewide-$4.69 billion 0.9%

Carson City-$93.27 million -5.6%

Churchill-$30.5 million -12.9%

Douglas-$77.6 million 1%

Lyon-$32.4 million -20%

Storey-$6.69 million -20%

Washoe-$718.8 million 0.9%

Clark-$3.4 billion -0.8%


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