Nevada taxable sales continue to fall in December |

Nevada taxable sales continue to fall in December

At first glance, the 6.6 percent decrease in taxable sales for December appears much improved over some recent months.

Gov. Jim Gibbons pointed out that this is finally a single-digit decline after 14 months of double digit drops in taxable sales.

But that decrease to

$3.65 billion is on top of the 16.2 percent decrease Nevada businesses suffered in December 2008, a total of more than 22 percent down in two years.

The worst hit was to construction industry categories, which were down more than 56 percent for the month.

Motor vehicle and parts sales, however, were in better shape with a statewide dip of just half a percent. Statewide auto sales were $265.3 million.

In Carson City, where auto sales are normally the largest sales tax generator, that category recorded a 6.7 percent increase, the first positive comparison since the Cash for Clunkers program gave the capital a boost last summer.

That, however, was offset by a 9.9 percent decrease in sales by general merchandise stores, now the capital’s largest generator, at $15.4 million for the month. Statewide numbers for those stores were off less than a percent to $497.6 million.

Wholesalers were also hard hit in the capital with durable goods down 45 percent and non-durable goods down 16.6 percent.

Altogether, Carson City sales dipped 14.5 percent to $63.3 million for the month.

Douglas County took a 10.4 percent hit, finishing December with $53.15 million in sales. One of the keys was a 32 percent decrease in motor vehicle sales – $1.16 million.

Food services and drinking places, fueled by the Stateline casinos, took a 9.9 percent dip in Douglas to $8.8 million.

Washoe and Clark counties were both down for the month, but in single digits. Clark’s $2.66 billion in sales was 8.4 percent lower than a year ago and Washoe’s $517.2 million decline was 8.9 percent off.

Altogether, 12 of Nevada’s 17 counties were down in December.