Nevada taxable sales dropped again in October, falling 6.2 percent behind the sales in October 2007 to $3.73 billion. Carson City took a much bigger hit, with total sales falling 14.5 percent.
As in September, the hit to Carson City was largely due to auto sales, the county's largest sales tax generator. Total auto sales fell nearly $7 million to $12.9 million for the month. That's 34.4 percent below sales in the previous October.
Total taxable sales in Carson City were just a hair over $65 million.
The damage would have been much worse except that Carson City's second largest tax category, general merchandise sales, posted an 8.5 percent increase to $12.7 million. That increase can most likely be attributed to the opening of the Burlington Coat Factory a month earlier.
And the new Carson City Home Depot helped with building material sales, which were down only 3.4 percent. Sales by furniture stores fell 15 percent and electronics and appliance stores by more than 28 percent.
Douglas, which escaped with minimal damage in September (a 1 percent drop), suffered a double-digit decrease in October " 12.2 percent to $50.7 million. Sales by food services and drinking places, Douglas's largest, fell nearly 19 percent to $10.2 million. And building materials sales were off some 20 percent to $5.3 million.
Altogether, nine of Nevada's 17 counties posted decreases for the month, including Washoe and Clark which, together, account for nearly three quarters of statewide taxable sales. In Clark, the decrease was 6.8 percent to $2.77 billion. But in Washoe, the total taxable sales fell 13.9 percent to $478.7 million.
Auto sales were down 32 percent in Washoe. Building material sales fell 20 percent and there were steep declines in most construction categories.
The hardest hit county was Storey, where total sales fell nearly 55 percent to $4.6 million. Storey's monthly fate is tied to business activity at the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Park east of Reno.
Among the healthiest were the rural mining counties. With a large increase in support activities for mining, Churchill County weighed in with a 44.4 percent increase for the month. In addition, Churchill reported huge purchases by utility companies.
That follows the 107 percent increase in September " also in categories related to mining and utilities.
With its copper mines booming, White Pine showed an increase of more than 220 percent to $50.4 million. Beyond that, Eureka was up 12.8 percent, Humboldt up 26.7 percent , Lander up 25.5 percent and Pershing up 35.2 percent.
Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.