February taxable sales up double digits again | NevadaAppeal.com
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February taxable sales up double digits again

Not only did the state continue this year’s double digit increases in taxable sales for February, Carson City appeared to be climbing out of it’s slump.

Buoyed by a near 18 percent increase in automotive and gasoline sales, Carson City’s taxable sales rose 4.7 percent to $66.9 million. The automotive category accounted for more than $23 million of that total.

Statewide, the increase was 13.4 percent over February 2003 sales – a total of $2.87 billion in taxable sales. For the eight months of this fiscal year, that means taxable sales are up 11.2 percent – a more than double increase than that projected by the Economic Forum.

As in Carson City, the driving force behind February’s statewide numbers was a 17 percent increase in the automotive dealers and gasoline category.

Taxation Director Chuck Chinnock said the increase was because of the growth in car sales, not gas prices which are a fixed tax per gallon.

“It’s car sales and a reflection of the recovery of Nevada’s economy,” he said.

Gov. Kenny Guinn had a similar reaction: “For eight straight months, Nevada’s sales activity has exceeded normal expectations and revenue projections. This is an indication of our economic recovery and short-term stability.”

In Carson City, the growth was partially offset by weak performance in retail categories and hardware and construction categories. Carson City’s biggest drop was a 23 percent decline in general merchandise stores. But the capital still showed a 4.5 percent increase for the fiscal year thus far.

Douglas County, the new home of some of Carson City’s old retailers, mirrored Carson’s retail decrease with a 23 percent increase in its general merchandise sales. Overall, Douglas reported a 14.5 percent increase in taxable sales to $55.36 million for February. Douglas is up 12.4 percent for the year.

Lyon County is also growing rapidly, reporting a 25.5 percent increase for February to $25.3 million and a 16.7 percent increase for the eight months of this fiscal year.

By percentage, Storey County had the best showing in February with a 75 percent overall increase in taxable sales to $3.86 million. Storey logged increases of more than 100 percent in 13 different categories ranging from lumber and wood products, chemicals and industrial machinery purchases to communications, business services categories and motion pictures.

Washoe County reported an 8.8 percent increase overall to $434.9 million and Clark a 14.5 percent increase to $2.1 billion.

Guinn said the strong performance of the sales tax is compensating for lagging revenues in some other areas – specifically the cigarette tax and the new live entertainment tax.

Contact Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.