State’s taxable sales up 7.6 percent in August
Taxable sales in Nevada jumped 7.6 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago, as several sectors reported greater demand for items such as cars and durable goods like appliances, the Department of Taxation reported Thursday.Nevada merchants sold nearly $3.7 billion of goods in August, on which the state collected $288 million in sales and use taxes. The tax collections are an 8.5 percent increase from a year earlier.August marked the 26th month of increased sales in a state that saw deep, double-digit declines during the depth of the Great Recession. Sales tax accounts for roughly 30 percent of state general funds.Carson City taxable sales were down in August, but only by two tenths of a percent. The dip came despite a 26.9 percent increase in auto sales and a 15.5 percent increase in general merchandise stores — the capital’s largest tax generators. But those gains were erased by negative numbers in more than two dozen other categories.Total taxable sales were $69.7 million for the month.Churchill County, in contrast, saw a huge spike as taxable sales nearly doubled (98.3 percent) compared with August 2011 to $45.6 million. Almost all of the increase — $23.8 million — was in the category Electrical Equipment, Appliance and Computer manufacturing.Douglas County also had a good month, reporting a 10.7 percent increase to $54.9 million.Sales in Clark County, Nevada’s population and tourism hub, totaled $2.6 billion in August, up 8.1 percent. In northern Nevada’s Washoe County, which includes Reno, sales of $517.7 million were up 10.5 percent.Nine of Nevada’s 17 counties reported increased sales activity during the month, with Carson City, Esmeralda, Eureka, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing and White Pine counties posting declines, the report said.Vehicle and parts sales rose 21.6 percent in August, while clothing and accessories stores saw gains of 10.3 percent. Sales of durable goods, which are products expected to last at least three years, rose 9 percent, and general merchandise sales climbed 6.9 percent.Accommodations, a key barometer of Nevada’s vital tourism industry, rose 12.2 percent in August, while bars and restaurants reported a 2.4 percent sales increase.The $73.1 million in August tax collections that goes to the state general fund is about 8 percent greater than a year ago. General fund portions are 4.8 percent, or $6.5 million, higher than projections made in May 2011 by Economic Forum. An independent, appointed panel of fiscal experts, the Economic Forum estimates state revenues for the two-year budget cycle. Their projections lay the foundation for the state budget, and any spending plans that exceed forum projections must come with an identified funding source.The Economic Forum will meet in early December to make its initial revenue forecast for the 2013-15 budget cycle. Gov. Brian Sandoval will present his budget proposal to state lawmakers in January, before the Nevada Legislature convenes Feb. 4.