Nevada taxable sales rise 10.2 percent |

Nevada taxable sales rise 10.2 percent

Driven by a 23 percent increase in auto sales and nearly 12 percent in food and drink, February’s taxable sales jumped 10.2 percent statewide.

Total sales for the month were $3.22 billion, the Department of Taxation reported Thursday.

But Carson City was less-fortunate, seeing an increase of just 4.4 percent to $55.89 million. The capital city saw a huge 43 percent gain in general merchandise sales – $14.7 million. And motor vehicle sales were up 11 percent to $13.9 million.

Those are the capital’s two largest tax generators.

But those gains were offset by two major decreases.

With the Legislature not being in town this year, food and drinking establishments saw a 32.5 percent decrease in sales.

The other decrease was in computer and electronic product manufacturing where, a year ago, there was a $3.9 million system purchase by a Carson company. The $4.1 million total in that category from February 2011 fell to just $31,263 this year.

City Finance Director Nick Providenti said that overall, this fiscal year’s numbers are on track with projections.

“We’re pretty much right on budget, just about exactly what we projected,” he said.

Statewide, all but one major category was up, all but one of them by double-digit margins. Construction industry classifications were down a disappointing 25.5 percent.

Lyon County had one of its best months in a long time – a 13.6 percent increase to $21.3 million.

Douglas County reported a 9.9 percent increase to $40.3 million primarily because of a huge jump in that county’s biggest tax generator, food and drinking places primarily at the south shore of Lake Tahoe. The South Shore had taxable sales 26 percent higher than a year ago – a total of $12.2 million.

In Clark County sales rose 11.1 percent to $2.4 billion, up from $2.2 billion. Clark had a solid month all around with double digit increases in numerous major categories including auto sales, general merchandise stores, and wholesalers of durable goods. Clark’s biggest category, eating and drinking places, increased 12.9 percent to $666.5 million.

The portion of sales and use taxes that goes into the state general fund totaled $65.5 million, an increase of 11 percent compared with February 2011. For the fiscal year that began July 1, general fund collections are 4 percent or $21.2 million above projections the Economic Forum made last May.

The forum is an independent panel of fiscal and business experts who project state revenues. The governor and state lawmakers use the panel’s figures to build a two-year budget.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.