Las Vegas Sun

August 30, 2014

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Taxable sales in Clark County down for first time in nearly 2 years

CARSON CITY — Taxable sales in Nevada, one indicator of the strength of the economy, rose 4.2 percent in February compared to the same month a year ago, partially on strong sales of clothing, cars and furniture.

But Clark County sales were off 0.1 percent, the first time in at least 21 months there has been a drop in sales.

The state Department of Taxation today reported $3.3 billion in taxable sales statewide from 43,257 businesses. Clothing store sales jumped 9.2 percent and car sales were up 8.2 percent statewide.

Taxable sales of accommodations jumped 29.2 percent statewide. But sales in general merchandise stores dropped 9.4 percent and sales at restaurants and bars statewide fell 3.8 percent.

The agency collected $66.1 million as the state’s share of the sales tax, up 1 percent from February 2012. So far this fiscal year, sales tax collections are 1.3 percent, or $8 million, lower than the estimate of the Economic Form, which predicts the state’s revenue for budgeting purposes.

Collections this fiscal year from the liquor tax are $1.8 million below projections; cigarette tax collections are up $1.4 million and entertainment tax revenues are lagging by 0.7 percent.

The Economic Forum meets next month to make its estimate of tax collections for the coming two fiscal years. The Legislature must follow the projections in building the budget, unless taxes are increased.

Clark County reported $2.4 billion in sales, with a 9.5 percent increase in the sale of building materials and a 9.4 percent increase furniture sales. Auto sales were up 3.4 percent.

Clothing stores in Clark County reported an 11 percent increase in sales, but general merchandise sales fell 8.3 percent, and bar and restaurant sales dropped 4.4 percent.

Sales were up 8.1 percent in Washoe County and 1.1 percent in Carson City and down 33 percent in Esmeralda County, 70 percent in Lincoln County and 21.6 percent in White Pine County.

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