Taxable sales hurt by tax abatements | NevadaAppeal.com

Taxable sales hurt by tax abatements

Geothermal receives tax abatements in which counties lose taxable sales funds. In June Churchill County lost almost $3 million.
LVN FILE PHOTO |

Nevada’s June taxable sales were up 1.2 percent compared with the same month of 2012, finishing the fiscal year 5.2 percent ahead of the previous year.

Statewide, total sales for the month were $3.96 billion for a 12-month total of $45.2 billion.

Churchill County reported a 9.5 percent increase for the month to $30.2 million. The Utilities category more than doubled to $4.77 million as did Specialty Trade Contractors at $1.5 million. Construction of Buildings saw a massive increase from just $60,000 a year ago to $1.96 million this June.

But those numbers, as in previous months, are misleading to both the county and the rest of the state.

Because of tax abatements granted to alternative energy by the Nevada Legislature, Churchill County must give back $3 millions to the state coffers for the aforementioned categories. .

Comptroller Alan Kalt said Fallon not only broke even in June 2013 compared to the same time one year ago but the year-end totals were virtually the same.

The state showed the county pulling in $30,195,148 for June 2013, but after the state takes $3 million in abatements, Kalt said the figure will be about $332 less than June 2012.

Likewise, the state snatched almost $67 million in taxable sales from the yearly total of $387.5 million. Kalt said the final amount is slightly above the 2012 total of $320.1 million.

“The increase is reflected on a 3 percent increase in collections,” Kalt said.

According to Kalt, Merchant Wholesalers for Durbable and NonDurable Goods were about the same in June as they were one year ago, while Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers, Furniture and Home Furnishing stores and Electronics and Appliance Stores all showed decreased by 14.2, 2.7 and 6.4 percent, respectively.

Gasoline stores showed a 2 percent bump, and General Merchandise Stores, which includes Walmart, showed a $300 gain in 2012.

Food Services recorded a 10.5 decrease.

After June’s and the fiscal year-end figures came out, Kalt said the number of filing locations is also erratic, and he would like to find out why the Nevada Department of Taxation is not consistently reporting filing locations each month.

Churchill County wasn’t the only area not seeing a good increase.

Carson City finished the year flat, ticking up 0.3 percent to $70.67 million.

Two key categories in Carson City effectively canceled each other out. The monthly gain of $3 million in car sales was offset by a $3 million dip for wholesalers of durable goods.

Auto sales, the capital’s largest taxable sales generator, turned in a 19.5 percent increase to $18.5 million. The wholesale durable goods category was down nearly 42 percent to $4.3 million.

The second-biggest tax generator, general merchandise, was up to $11.77 million, a 2.9 percent increase. Eating and drinking places reported $8.1 million in sales, a 2.1 percent increase.

While there were large swings in a number of categories, most were tiny totals. The net: a flat month for the capital.

Carson City Finance Director Nick Providenti said the city finished the year very close to the total projected in the budget, bringing in $19.8 million from the consolidated tax, which is heavily dependent on taxable sales. That is about $100,000 more than budgeted, he said.

Douglas County had a 4.4 percent increase to finish the fiscal year 6.3 percent ahead of 2012. That translates to $52.8 million in June and $592.8 million for the year. While many other categories were soft, general merchandise sales jumped 18.2 percent to $8.3 million, and food services and drinking places jumped to $12.17 million, a 9.2 percent increase.

Lyon County was down 3.2 percent in June, to a total of $33.18 million.

Statewide, the construction industry had an excellent month, with its categories up 43 percent. In that group, specialty trade contractors had the biggest increase, at 67.7 percent, while building materials increased 9.7 percent. In a pattern similar to the capital’s, auto sales increased 7.8 percent and general merchandise sales were up 3.1 percent. But, as in Carson City, wholesale durable goods were down 7.8 percent for the state.

Gross revenue collections were up 2.25 percent to $309 million for the month. The state general fund portion of that comes to $77.9 million.

General fund collections finished the fiscal year just $3 million above the Economic Forum forecast — a margin of just 0.3 percent.