Double-digit percentage gain in Nevada sales for May |

Double-digit percentage gain in Nevada sales for May

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – Nevada merchants sold $3.31 billion in goods during May for a 12.6 percent increase over the same month a year earlier – and taxes based on those sales are now $53 million ahead of last year’s projections.

“Nevada’s economy is back on the right track,” Gov. Kenny Guinn said Wednesday, adding that sales taxes have been up for 11 straight months.

The May sales brought the total for the fiscal year to date to $34.64 billion, up 12.5 percent compared with the prior fiscal year, the state Taxation Department reported.

All but three of Nevada’s 17 counties had month-over-month gains – and 10 of the county increases were in double digits.

Clark County, encompassing Las Vegas, accounted for $2.44 billion of the May sales, up 14.2 percent; while Washoe County, encompassing Reno, had $506 million in sales, up 6.8 percent.

Pershing County was low with a 17.4 percent decrease; and Lander County was high with a gain of 122 percent.

In other counties, Churchill was down 3.9 percent; Douglas was up 15.8 percent; Elko was up 1.2 percent; Carson City was up 10.4 percent; and White Pine was up 13 percent.

Statewide, the Taxation Department said auto and fuel sales were up 13 percent; furniture store sales were up 11.2 percent; general merchandise sales were up 9.7 percent; and food stores were up 6.3 percent.

Bars and restaurants had an 11.7 percent gain in sales statewide. A breakdown shows that in the Las Vegas area, such sales, indicators of tourism traffic, were up 12.8 percent; and in the Reno area were up 5.8 percent.

The combined taxes based on the sales, split up among the state, schools, cities and counties, totaled $2.58 billion for the fiscal year through May. The state’s share is $702.8 million, and that’s about $53 million higher than the estimate projected in May 2003 by the Economic Forum.

In looking at business and excise taxes that are separate from the sales levies, the Taxation Department said revenue from cigarette taxes, increased from 35 cents to 80 cents per package last year, are about 2 percent below forecasts. Liquor taxes are about 13 percent above forecasts.

Excise taxes combined produced $20.6 million in May and $396 million for the fiscal year to date.