Sales Down 11 Percent

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - The impact of the national recession
was clear in the latest state sales report Friday: Nevada merchants
sold $3.39 billion in goods and services in November for a 10.9
percent decrease compared with the same month a year ago.

Government tax collections based on the sales showed a worse
slump, down 12.2 percent. The taxes totaled $251.6 million,
including $63.7 million for the state and the balance for schools
and local governments, the state Taxation Department report showed.

Taxable sales were down in 11 of Nevada's 17 counties, including
the two biggest population centers of Clark County, which
encompasses Las Vegas, and Washoe County, which includes Reno.

In Clark County, sales dropped 11.3 percent to $2.85 billion.
Washoe County sales fell 14.3 percent to $458 million.

Sales by merchants now are down 5.4 percent for the first five
months of the fiscal year. Taxes based on those sales are down 6.7
percent for the same period.

Gov. Jim Gibbons stated the report "again confirms that
Nevada's economy remains sluggish" and show that people are
"spending less because they have less, and they are spending less
because they are worried about their families, their businesses and
their livelihood."

The Republican governor used the report to restate his
opposition to higher taxes, saying, "It is absolutely wrong to
consider raising sales taxes at this time because it will increase
the burden that all Nevadans have to cope with during this economic

The Taxation Department report shows that restaurant and bar
sales - viewed as good indicators of Nevada's tourism industry -
dropped 6.7 percent, to $539.4 million from $577.8 million a year

Vehicle and auto part sales statewide were $255.8 million, down
34.4 percent. Building material sales dropped 16.5 percent to
$141.2 million, although actual construction of buildings was up 58
percent, to $25.8 million.

Clothing store sales totaled $240.9 million in November, down
8.7 percent; general merchandise sales amounted to $369.3 million,
down 9.2; and durable goods wholesaling added up to $244.4 million,
down 10.6 percent.
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(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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