Nevada businesses reported $4.55 billion in taxable sales for March, a 2.6 percent increase over the same month of 2014.
In addition, 13 of Nevada’s 17 counties reported increases in total taxable sales.
Churchill County showed the top performance in March, a 30.9 percent jump to $31.96 million in taxable sales, due in part because of geothermal activity, said Churchill County comptroller Alan Kalt.
According to Kalt, the Utilities category increased from $92,663 a year ago to $8.75 million in March due to tax abatements.
“Year-to-year taxable sales were up 17 percent from the prior year on a month-to-month basis for March,” Kalt said in written comments prepared for the county commissioners. “The DFA (Dairy Farmers of America) and Patua Geothermal Plant tax abatements that significantly impacted the actual level of increase from the prior year corrected the amount.
Kalt said when reviewing state figures, the urban areas are carrying the state, and four rural counties suffered losses in the month as year-to-date figures.
Tax abatements affected a handful of major categories including a 92 percent decrease in construction to $101,725 and a 60 percent drop by specialty trade contractors to $322,258.
Kalt said Primary Metal Manufacturing rose 859 percent from $68,880 to $660,570.
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services experienced a 254 percent jump to $623,628.
Kalt, though, said Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers continues to show a positive trend with a 5.4 percent increase from $2.68 million to $2.83 million. Furniture and Home Furnishings more than doubled from $439,433 to more than $1 million.
After showing several months of gradual improvement, Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores and Sporting Goods each fell, 13.4 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively.
Kalt said he is checking into General Merchandise because the same figure from March 2014 was recorded for March of this year.
Amusement and Gambling slipped 17.6 percent to $63,491, and Food Services and Drinking Places showed a near push of $2.58 million, down about $6,000.
Most major indicators were up.
Lyon County had a strong month, up 25.7 percent to $37.1 million.
Food Services and Drinking Places contributed a 16.1 percent increase to $3.35 million and building materials a 23.7 percent increase to $3.6 million. But the biggest single increase was in Crop Production, which went from $49,201 a year ago to $1.17 million this March.
Industrial categories including Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing also saw strong increases. That category went from $703,863 to $4.28 million.
Carson City did even better than the state, reporting an 8.1 percent increase to $81.3 million for the month.
In Carson City, the increase was driven by a 10.3 percent increase in auto sales to $21.33 million. That offset a 3.6 percent decrease in sales by the capital’s second largest category, General Merchandise Stores, which reported $15.98 million in sales.
But other retail categories including clothing stores, sporting goods and miscellaneous retailers reported double digit increases, led by a 126 percent increase in clothing and accessories stores to $1.2 million.
Sales in Douglas County increased 24.6 percent to $63,256. Almost all of the credit goes to auto sales, which went from $2.6 million to $10.5 million.
Meanwhile, Douglas’s biggest sales tax producer, Food Services and Drinking Places, was down to just more than $11 million. That, however, is a decrease of less than a percent.
Clark County reported $3.4 billion in sales, a 2 percent increase but Washoe County did much better — a 9.8 percent increase to $609.9 million.
Finally, Storey County, driven by the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Center, reported a 21 percent increase to $11.3 million in taxable sales.
Geoff Dornan of the Nevada Appeal contributed to this report.