Churchill County sales dropped 41 percent in April to a little more than $14 million due to tax abatements for geothermal and a posting error that was corrected.
Comptroller Alan Kalt said the figures don’t look as ominous for Churchill County as what appears on the monthly report.
“That’s clearly not the case because revenues (once adjusted) were only down 3 percent,” he said. “Clark and Washoe counties remain strong and that’s what is carrying the state.”
Kalt said the county does not have the big projects such as the building of a geothermal plant or dry milk facility.
“Some numbers were reflected in the prior year and caused the disparity,” he added.”
Kalt said eight rural counties showed a decline including several gold-producing counties. He said the drop in gold prices has led to taxable sales dipping from one year ago.
As for Churchill County, Kalt said the 2014 fiscal year showed Churchill County 10 percent ahead of FY 2013. Through April, the county has taken in $225 million compared to $204 million last year.
The culprit in Churchill County’s reporting appears to be in the furniture and Home Furnishings category that reported a $7.75 million negative credit. Kalt said the adjustment was recently made by the state taxation department although Kalt said they were not specific because of confidentiality policies. He also said Food Services and Drinking Places dipped 53 percent to just $2.76 million but is even for the year.
A positive report resulted in $4.6 for Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers, a jump of 82 percent from 2014. Other large categories according to Kalt saw either a push or a slight decline.
Lyon County posted a 111 percent increase to $58.28 million for the month. The biggest increase was in the Electronics and Appliances category, which went from just $215,304 a year ago to $30.5 million this past April. Since specifics of business sales are confidential, no details were available to explain that increase.
Part of that was offset by an 82 percent increase in auto sales to $4.68 million.
Carson City reported a 13.6 percent increase in taxable sales in April.
Capital merchants sold $10.77 million worth of building materials, a 49.3 percent increase over the same month of 2014.
Related categories such as furniture and home furnishings also were up substantially — by 35.6 percent to just more than $1 million in that case.
Auto sales, the area’s largest sales tax generator, was up 4.9 percent to $20.5 million but General Merchandise Stores, the second biggest, was down 2 percent to $10.9 million.
Food Services and Drinking Places, normally fattened up in odd numbered years by the Legislature, were up but only by 2.6 percent to $7.67 million.
Statewide, total taxable sales were up 5.5 percent to $4.12 billion. Clark County led the way, posting $3.1 million of that total, a 6.8 percent gain from a year earlier. Washoe County followed with a 4 percent increase to $522.9 million.
There also were double-digit decreases in several mining counties. Esmeralda went down 60.7 percent to just $851,439, Eureka 27.8 percent to $19.78 million and Humboldt 26.9 percent to $40.4 million.
Statewide, auto sales were up 10.4 percent and the furniture category 10.3 percent.
Revenue collections for May were up a half percent or $4.3 million over the amount forecast by the Economic Forum.
Geoff Dornan contributed to this article on the state and Carson City figures.