Nevada Sales Up 7.8 Percent In May

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Nevada sales totaled $2.9 billion in May for a 7.8 percent increase over the same month a year ago. It marks the 11th consecutive month of sales growth.

But Gov. Kenny Guinn said the state continues to fall behind in sales tax collections, which are now $27 million lower than earlier projections.

Tabulations for June, the last month in the fiscal year, will not be known until next month.

"Even with a similar positive gain during the final month of the fiscal year, Nevada will be far behind the original projections, which has led to more than $200 million in cuts during the past year alone,"Guinn said in a statement issued Tuesday.

The latest sales tax report came one day after the Republican governor signed an $836 million tax package approved by lawmakers following a prolonged legislative fight over how to fund a record $5 billion state budget for the next two years.

Earlier this month, the state Gaming Control Board reported Nevada casinos won $805.7 million from gamblers in May, a decline of 4 percent. Winnings, on which casinos pay taxes, were down nearly 7 percent the previous month.

In May, taxable sales grew in Clark County by 8.3 percent to $2.1 billion. Washoe County was up 9.3 percent, with sales totaling $473 million.

Four counties reported declines: Humboldt, Lander, Mineral and Carson City.

Carson City's 7.9 percent drop was attributed largely to big retailers such as Wal-Mart relocating in neighboring Douglas County, where sales were up 9.3 percent for the month.

A sampling of other counties shows: Elko, $60.4 million, up 5.2 percent; Churchill, $21.1 million, up 15 percent; Storey, $4.5 million, up 18.5 percent; White Pine, $6.3 million, up 16.3 percent; and Pershing, $4.7 million, up 10.1 percent.

Statewide, the Taxation Department said business in bars and restaurants rose by 9.4 percent. Those sales are considered good gauges of tourist traffic.

Automobile and gasoline sales jumped 16.7 percent, while building materials and hardware rose 8.6 percent. Home furnishings were up 17.3 percent.

For the fiscal year to date, sales totaled $30.6 billion, up 5.3 percent.


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