Taxable sales mostly higher in March |

Taxable sales mostly higher in March

A 25.2 percent increase in Carson City’s largest sales tax generator – car sales – was offset by a 30 percent decrease in general merchandise stores in March.

The two effectively canceled each other out, leaving Carson’s taxable sales up 3.8 percent.

Car sales finished up $3.6 million to $17.6 million. General merchandise stores finished down $4.3 million at just over $10 million.

But increases in several other categories such as specialty trade contractors -up 81 percent to $1.5 million – helped Carson finish ahead of March 2011.

Businesses reported a total of $64.5 million in taxable sales.

Statewide taxable sales grew 7.2 percent in March to $3.91 billion.

Car sales rose 15.8 percent statewide, while building material sales increased 34 percent.

The strong month brings the state to a 7.5 percent overall increase for the nine months of this fiscal year.

The General fund portion of the sales tax came in at $75.3 million, a 3 percent increase compared to March 2011.

But it wasn’t the big counties that generated that increase. Washoe grew just 3 percent and Clark 1.9 percent.

The utility category was the surprise of the month, reporting total taxable sales of $165.5 million. The vast majority of that was in tiny White Pine County where the utility category grew from $45,096 a year ago to $138.7 million this time.

The utilities category also posted large increases in Churchill, Clark, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Lander, Lincoln, Storey and Washoe counties.

There were also significant increases in a number of counties that depend heavily on mining.

Churchill was another county that didn’t really benefit from the increase in utilities sales. The county was up just two-tenths of a percent to $22.9 million.

Lyon County, however, had one of its best months in a long time – a 71.4 percent increase to $38.37 million. Electrical equipment and appliance manufacturing jumped from just over $7,000 a year ago to $11.1 million, accounting for the majority of the increase.

Douglas County posted an 8.7 percent increase to $45.99 million. Building material sales were up more than 60 percent ($4.3 million), and merchant wholesalers of durable goods up 49.6 percent.

Storey County was one of just two counties to see a decrease – the other being Nye. Storey’s taxable sales fell 21.8 percent but the county’s numbers are closely tied to whatever happens at the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Park. Total sales were just over $6 million.

Clark County reported $2.79 billion in taxable sales, up just under 2 percent. Washoe reported $465.7 million in sales, a 3 percent increase.