November’s taxable sales up 7.1 percent
Taxable sales in Nevada jumped 7.1 percent in November compared with the same month a year earlier, marking the 29th consecutive month of gains and steady progress in the state’s long climb out of recession, the Department of Taxation reported Tuesday.Merchants statewide sold $3.6 billion in goods in November, with big increases noted in sales of vehicles and parts, machinery manufacturing, and specialty trade contractors.In Nevada’s population hub of Clark County, encompassing Las Vegas, sales rose 5.2 percent. Businesses there sold $2.6 billion in taxable merchandise, up from nearly $2.5 billion in November 2011. Northern Nevada’s Washoe County, encompassing the Reno-Sparks area, saw sales rise 5.5 percent to $454 million.Ten of Nevada’s 17 counties recorded improved sales activity, the exceptions being Douglas, Elko, Lincoln, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and White Pine. Some of those sparsely populated rural areas host large mining operations and can see huge swings month to month because of purchases of expensive equipment.Gross sales and use tax collections on statewide sales totaled $284.6 million, an increase of 6.9 percent. The amount that goes to the state general fund increased 7.2 percent to $72.2 million, the report said.Tuesday’s report comes as the Nevada Legislature prepares to convene next week for a 120-day session. Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican midway through his first term, has said he would oppose any new tax increases, though he’s agreed to extend for another two years about $620 million in temporary levies originally set to expire June 30, 2011.For the first five months of the fiscal year that began July 1, general fund revenues are running 1.7 percent, or $6.2 million, below projections the state Economic Forum made in November. The independent panel of business experts projects tax revenues on which the state budget must be based.The latest report showed sales of vehicles and parts rose 16.1 percent, while machinery manufacturing was up 90 percent. Nevada’s beleaguered construction industry that imploded when the state’s housing market crumbled under the weight of recession also saw a hefty increase of 52.3 percent.Clothing and accessory stores recorded a statewide gain of 5.4 percent, while home furnishings rose nearly 9 percent.But accommodations — an indicator on the health of Nevada’s key tourism industry — saw sales fall 14.3 percent in November. Sales at bars and restaurants, however, were up 3 percent.