Nevada Merchants' Taxable Sales Down In July

Nevada merchants sold nearly $4 billion in goods during July for a 2.6 percent decline compared with the same month a year earlier, according to a Nevada Department of Taxation report released Monday.

Sales taxes that go to the state, local governments and schools totaled $294.9 million based on the July sales, down 2.3 percent.

The state's share was $78.6 million - and that's $10 million less than what the Economic Forum had projected last spring.

A breakdown of the sales for July showed that 11 Nevada counties
had decreases, while the other six had increases.

Those with decreases included Clark and Washoe, the state's largest counties, which had all but about 11 percent of the $4 billion in sales
during the month.

Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, accounted for $2.95 billion of the July sales, down 1.3 percent compared with the same month a year earlier.

Washoe County, which includes Reno, had $572.7 million in July sales, down 4.1 percent.

The Taxation Department report shows that the single biggest category, restaurant-bar sales, was down nearly 8 percent at $567
million statewide.

Such sales are indicators of tourist traffic in this tourist-dependent state.

Automobile and auto parts sales totaled just under $500 million, down nearly 13 percent in July compared with the same month a year earlier.

Building material sales totaled nearly $210 million, down nearly 20 percent.

Food-beverage store sales totaled about $143 million, down 2.6 percent; and health and personal care sales amounted to $185.3 million, down 16.4 percent.

General merchandise sales of $318 million were up 2.5 percent; clothing sales, totaling $232.6 million, were up 9.5 percent; wholesale-durable good sales of $321.3 million were up 1.4 percent; and specialty trade contractors had sales of about $128 million, up 7.8 percent.

The Taxation Department report also shows excise taxes, mainly on cigarettes and liquor, amounted to $18.2 million in July.

That's an increase of 8.7 percent.