Nevada’s taxable sales up for 90 straight months
March 1, 2018
Statewide taxable sales are now up for 90 consecutive months in Nevada, a mark Department of Taxation Director Bill Anderson says is unprecedented.
"We've been able to go back about a quarter century to see if we've ever had such a run and we haven't," he said Thursday.
Anderson said December's monthly report is just a 2.3 percent increase over the same month a year ago but in the black nonetheless. For December, taxable sales totaled $5.57 billion.
That increase is low in comparison to most of those months when the increase was typically 5 percent or so when compared to the same month of the previous year.
But Anderson said he and his staff are "keeping an eye on this because the kind of run we're on right now is pretty much unprecedented." He said that could be the beginning of a slowdown since 2.3 percent is the smallest increase since May 2016 when total sales rose just 1.6 percent.
He said while some of the growth can be attributed to what's taking place in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center and counties including Churchill, he's watching the big counties.
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"When you look at Clark and Washoe, you're talking about 80 percent of total sales in the state so when push comes to shove, that's going to drive the big number," he said. "But there's still a lot of interesting things going on in non-metro counties."
The streak started in July 2010. That month, total taxable sales in Nevada were $3.24 billion, just 58 percent of this past December's total.
He said the monthly growth works out to about 5 percent over the 90 months: "That's more than enough to keep pace with inflation."
While he said it could come to an end, there are still major projects that have been announced but have yet to get going such as the Raiders' stadium and other new development on the Strip as well as at TRIC east of Reno. Once those projects are under construction, taxable sales will continue to increase.
Since July 2010, a number of Nevada's smaller markets have recorded strong increases in sales.
Carson City sales grew from $61.9 million in July 2010 to the $111.9 million this December. In Douglas County, the growth was from $49.4 million to $71.5 million and, in Churchill from $21.89 million to $33.1 million.
But because of TRIC, the most spectacular growth was in Storey County: from $3.5 million in taxable sales in July 2010 to $139.4 million in December.
As for the big counties, Clark went from $2.35 billion eight years ago to $3.99 billion. Washoe County reported taxable sales of $456 million back then. This December, the county logged $843.8 million in sales.
Looking at the December numbers, Carson City had one of the best months reporting a 19.7 percent increase. Churchill County was up 11.7 percent to $33.2 million. Elsewhere in western Nevada, the increases were much more moderate with Douglas increasing just 2.5 percent and Lyon County just three tenths to $46.5 million.
One interesting statistic, according to Anderson, is the roughly $200 million in taxable sales attributed to marijuana sale between July and the end of December — the first half of this fiscal year.
Through that same period, he said taxable sales are up for 13 of the 17 Nevada counties over the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Statewide, taxable sales are up 4.3 percent for the first half of the fiscal year to $28.7 billion.