Taxable sales down again – but not as bad as expected |

Taxable sales down again – but not as bad as expected

Nevada’s taxable sales fell again in November, but not by as much as expected. The drop was 10.9 percent to just over $3 billion for the month. But state taxation director Dino Dicianno told the Economic Forum last week he had expected worse. The average over the first five months of this fiscal year is 18.1 percent down compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Dicianno said the numbers are a hopeful sign that the statewide decline may at least be slowing.

The worst numbers are still in the construction industry classifications – off by a whopping 44.6 percent for the month. Motor vehicle sales, normally Carson City’s biggest sales tax category, were down 9.3 percent. But that is the first time in a year their decline has been in single digits.

In Carson City, the overall drop was 13.5 percent, driven in large part by a reduction of more than 15 percent in auto sales. Total taxable sales for the capital were $51.58 million, $10 million of which was in auto sales. General merchandise stores logged more sales than car dealers with $11.5 million. That is still down from a year ago but only by 5.6 percent.

Statewide, General merchandise sales were off just 1.5 percent in November.

Douglas County fared much better than the capital in November with total sales falling just 1.6 percent to $43 million. But with the deep slump in South Shore casino business, food services and drinking places category is no longer Douglas’s economic mainstay. Total sales for the month in that category were $6.6 million compared to $7.3 million for General Merchandise Stores. Even so, that is a drop of 5.4 percent from November 2008.

The related miscellaneous retailers category in Douglas more than doubled in November to $3.3 million in sales.

Churchill County was hard hit with a 20.1 percent decline to $18.3 million. General merchandise stores were down 9.6 percent to $3.9 million and food services and drinking places reported just $1.3 million in taxable sales – a 40.7 percent drop.

Sales in Lyon County fell 13.1 percent in November to $22.9 million. All construction categories were down. Wholesale durable goods sales fell 31.3 percent to $2.3 million and auto sales 30.6 percent to just $1.3 million.

While general merchandise sales were flat at $3.1 million, miscellaneous retail sales jumped 162 percent to $1.5 million.

In tiny Storey County, total taxable sales fell 67.7 percent. The blame can be put almost completely on a 97 percent reduction in the Support Activities for Mining category. Taxable sales there dropped from $6.6 million in November 2008 to just $139,617 this past November.

Taxable sales in Clark County were down 10.7 percent to $2.26 billion while Washoe was off 13 percent to $398.7 million.

Gross revenue collections from the sales and use tax totaled $235.1 million for the month, a 6.55 percent decrease compared to November 2008.