Sales tax numbers continue slide in September |

Sales tax numbers continue slide in September

Taxable sales continued to slide in September, falling 5.2 percent behind September 2007.

The dip was even more dramatic in Carson City where a 24 percent drop in auto sales dragged the capital’s total taxable sales down 10.3 percent compared with a year ago.

Carson City Finance Director Nick Providenti said auto sales made up 21 percent of the city’s total taxable sales in September.

But, he said, it won’t do further damage to the city’s budget since his office had projected a 10.7 percent drop for the month.

Carson City Treasurer Al Kramer said auto sales were up double digits year over year for something like 30 months.

“We knew it couldn’t continue forever,” he said.

Providenti said the capital was helped out by a 3 percent increase in general merchandise sales. He said the opening of the Burlington Coat Factory in September could account for that increase.

Building material sales also went up ” 4.5 percent ” which, he said, is probably because of the Home Depot that opened since September 2007. He said the opening of Harbor Freight in October will help out with next month’s numbers.

Providenti said the Sportsman’s Warehouse will also open in the near future.

“These are new stores in a bad economy,” he said. “They’re helping.”

Altogether, Carson City businesses reported $72 million in taxable sales for the month.

By comparison with most other parts of the state, Douglas County had a good month. Total sales were down just 1.1 percent to $61.6 million. The story was similar in Lyon County where growth kept the decrease to just 1 percent.

Churchill County had a great month, reporting a 107 percent increase from $23.8 million to $49.5 million in taxable sales. Taxation officials pointed to huge increases in equipment purchases by utilities and nearly as large increases in categories related to heavy construction. Utility purchases went from $27,000 a year ago to $10.7 million this September. 

Pershing County had a similar story, increasing total sales 106 percent to $9.8 million based on large categories related to utilities and heavy construction.

Washoe County was down by 9.2 percent to $580.5 million and Clark County was down 6.3 percent to $2.88 billion.

Eight Nevada counties reported a decrease in September taxable sales.

One factor that helped the state out was the tax amnesty program, which allowed businesses that owed back taxes to avoid penalties and interest if they came forward and paid the tax they owed. A total of $39 million was reported in amnesty collections.

Without that money, the state would have been down 6.15 percent for the month.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.