Nevada merchants had a good holiday season, selling $3.56 billion in goods during December for a 9.7 percent increase over the same month a year earlier, a state report showed Friday.
The December sales brought the total for the fiscal year to date to $18.67 billion, up 10.7 percent compared with the first half of the prior fiscal year, the Taxation Department said.
"With this latest report on the 2003 holiday season in December, we continue to see a positive trend for the current fiscal year in almost all categories of the reported taxes," said Gov. Kenny Guinn.
Clark County, encompassing Las Vegas, accounted for $2.6 billion of the December sales, up 9.7 percent; while Washoe County, encompassing Reno, had $584.7 million in sales, up 9.4 percent.
All but four of the state's 17 counties - Eureka, Humboldt, Lander and Lyon - reported sales gains in December. Of the four with sales slumps, Lyon was the worst with a 5.1 percent decline compared with the previous December.
Of the counties that showed sales gains, Storey led with a 56.3 percent increase over December 2002; followed by Mineral with a nearly 40 percent increase; Esmeralda, up about 33 percent; and Douglas County, up nearly 25 percent.
Statewide, the Taxation Department said auto and fuel sales were up 21 percent; building material sales were up 22.4 percent; clothing store sales were up 16.2 percent; food stores were up 10.4 percent; general merchandise stores were up 6.2 percent; and wholesale trade-durable goods sales were up 15.5 percent.
Bars and restaurants had an 8.5 percent gain in sales statewide. A breakdown shows that in the Las Vegas area, such sales, indicators of tourism traffic, were up 9 percent; and in the Reno area were up 5.3 percent.
The latest sales tax report follows a report earlier this month from state gambling regulators showing casinos won $767.3 million in December, a 1 percent decrease from a year earlier.
Taxes based on sales and money won by casinos account for more than two-thirds of Nevada's general fund tax revenue.