Tax numbers up 4 percent in March but still behind projections
Taxable sales in Nevada increased 4.1 percent in March to a total of $4.48 billion.
But the increase for the nine months of fiscal 2007 is still lagging behind projections by the Economic Forum. As a result, the state treasury is three- quarters of a percent or $7.8 million below revenue forecasts used to build the state budget.
A major factor is weak sales of motor vehicles, which are down 12 percent for the year.
In March, however, vehicle sales were off just four-tenths of a percent so that category may be emerging from its slump.
Five Nevada counties reported lower total taxable sales than in March 2006: Churchill, Douglas, Lincoln, Lyon and Pershing. Pershing’s numbers were the worst, down 63 percent from $2.1 million to $801,815.
While Churchill was off just over 3 percent and Pershing less than 3 percent, Lyon took a more substantial hit. Sales there were down 19.9 percent to $31.49 million for the month.
Carson City, on the other hand, had its best month in a year with a 10.1 percent growth. While the capital city had a half-percent gain in January, November, December and February were all in the red. Thus far this fiscal year, Carson’s taxable sales are down 3.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
Douglas continued in the slump that has hurt that county all year, reporting a 4.8 percent drop in March. The county is off 5.8 percent compared to fiscal 2006.
Tiny Storey County once again reported a huge jump in taxable sales primarily associated with growth and construction in the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Park along Interstate 80 east of Sparks. For March, the number was 187.6 percent – a total of $18.2 million in taxable sales.
Eureka, Esmeralda and Mineral counties were also up solidly because of the booming mining industry. With gold prices more than $600 an ounce, Nevada miners are opening formerly marginal mines, buying equipment and hiring skilled workers who, in turn, are buying and spending.
But those gains were offset by only moderate growth in the state’s largest counties. Clark reported 3 percent growth to $3.34 billion for the month and Washoe 3.4 percent to $616.8 million. One problem was a 10.7 percent drop in food services and dining places, which hurt Clark especially.
In addition, construction-related categories continued to suffer with building materials purchases down 24 percent and furniture and home furnishings sales off by 59 percent.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.
County Taxable sales Change from March ’06
Carson City $93.5 million 10.1%
Churchill $27.3 million -3.3%
Douglas $63.6 million -4.8%
Lyon $31.5 million -19.9%
Storey $18.2 million 187.6%
Washoe $616.8 million 3.4%
Clark County $3.34 billion 3%
Statewide $4.48 billion 4.1%
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