Taxable sales rise 10% in May; Carson City up 7.9 percent

Statewide taxable sales jumped 10.4 percent in May to $3.71 billion as just two counties reported declines compared with May 2011.

One of those was Lyon County - although the decrease was only half of a percent.

Carson City had a solid increase of 7.9 percent, reporting total sales of $68.25 million. The capital's two largest tax generators were both up by double digits. Auto sales jumped 19.7 percent to $17.4 million. General merchandise stores reported $11.77 million in sales - a 10.7 percent increase. Building materials sales were up 22.5 percent to just over $7 million.

But the surprising category to report a double-digit increase was eating and drinking places, which increased sales from $6.6 million to $7.3 million - 10.9 percent. That is surprising because the comparison is with May 2011 when the Legislature was in session. Carson City Finance Director Nick Providenti said he didn't have a good explanation for that increase since, normally, that category is down in non-legislative years.

Carson, however, is up just 2.2 percent through the 11 months of fiscal 2012 with total sales at $670.66 million.

Douglas County was up 6 percent to $44.4 million in taxable sales. Food Services and Drinking Places - Douglas' biggest tax generator - rose 7.8 percent to $9.1 million. But auto sales were down 22 percent to $2.1 million and general merchandise stores were basically flat in May. For the year, Douglas is up 4.8 percent.

Lyon County was down a half-percent to $26.6 million. One major culprit was a 20 percent drop in building material sales that offset a 20 percent increase in auto sales. Both categories are worth about $2 million a month in Lyon. Lyon, however, is up 18.6 percent for the year.

The other county in the red was Lincoln, which suffered an 18.1 percent decline to $2.6 million.

Churchill County reported a solid 11.9 percent increase for the month with $22.3 million in taxable sales. Motor vehicle sales jumped 62.8 percent to $3.27 million. Building materials sales increased 14.6 percent to $1.9 million and general merchandise stores reported a 5.4 percent increase to $3.5 million.

Churchill is up 29.3 percent for the year, in good part because of utility spending that occurred in the first part of fiscal 2011.

The statewide increase is on top of the 7.2 percent increase reported in May 2011.

Statewide, auto sales were up even more than in Carson City - 20.8 percent. Wholesalers of durable goods saw 13.7 percent higher sales and food and beverage stores an 11.2 percent increase. Food services and drinking places sales - the tourist industry - were up 7.8 percent.

Statewide taxable sales are up 7.5 percent for the year to just over $39 billion.

As a result of the sales, revenue collections increased 8.9 percent over May 2011 to $288.9 million. The state's General Fund portion of that totaled $72.8 million, an 8.2 percent increase over a year ago.


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