Posts Tagged ‘taxable sales’

Nevada Posts 26th Consecutive Taxable Sales Increase In August

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 1:38 pm October 25th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada recorded its 26th consecutive month of taxable sales increases in August, when consumers spent $3.7 billion on goods and services for a 7.6 percent jump over August 2011, the state Department of Taxation reported today.

The last decrease in statewide taxable sales came in June 2010, when a 0.3 percent decline was reported over June 2009.

Taxable sales grew by 8.1 percent in Clark County and jumped double-digits in Washoe County to 10.5 percent.

Nine of Nevada’s 17 counties recorded an increase in taxable sales for August 2012 compared to August 2011, with Carson City, Esmeralda, Eureka, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, and White Pine counties showing declines.

All major taxable sales categories showed gains in August.

The largest increases were seen in the categories of Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers, up 21.6 percent; Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies, up 36.9 percent; Clothing and Clothing Accessories, up 10.3 percent; General Merchandise Stores, up 6.9 percent; and Merchant Wholesalers-Durable Goods, up 9 percent.

Other major categories showing increases included the Construction Industry Classification, up 2.7 percent; Food and Beverage Stores, up 0.6 percent; Furniture and Home Furnishings, up 6 percent; Accommodations, up 12.2 percent; and Food Services and Drinking Places, up 2.4 percent.

Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada (RAN), said the increases in larger purchases, from vehicles to furniture, is particularly good news in the August taxable sales report.

“Furniture sales I think is a great indicator that hopefully, people are either renovating their houses or buying new furniture or possibly trying to furnish new homes,” he said. “I think that signals more of a confidence, and people are more secure, especially leading into the holiday season.

“We’re very positive looking forward, we’re very optimistic,” Wachter said. “We came up with a 6.8 percent increase in taxable sales for holiday goods this year over last year. I think this news confirms that we were probably justified in our optimism.”

In some good news for Gov. Brian Sandoval as he prepares his next two year budget, the General Fund portion of the sales and use taxes collected from the August taxable sales amounted to $73.1 million, an 8.4 percent increase over August 2011.

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Audio clips:

Bryan Wachter with RAN says the major purchases are an especially good sign for Nevada’s economy:

102512Wachter1 :19 the holiday season.”

Wachter says retailers are optimistic about a strong holiday shopping season:

102512Wachter2 :16 in our optimism.”

 

 

 

Taxable Sales Climb 4.7% In July For 25th Consecutive Month Of Gains

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 3:21 pm September 27th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Statewide taxable sales totaled $3.55 billion in July, a 4.7 percent increase over July 2011 for the 25th consecutive month of increases, the state Department of Taxation reported today.

Clark County taxable sales were up 5.4 percent, while Washoe County saw a 5.6 percent gain over July 2011.

Ten of Nevada’s seventeen counties recorded an increase in taxable sales for July 2012 compared to July 2011. Eureka, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, Storey, and White Pine counties recorded decreases.

Photo by SteelCityHobbies via Wikimedia Commons.

The largest increases in statewide taxable sales were seen in the Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers category, up 14.2 percent; Merchant Wholesalers-Durable Goods, up 10.1 percent; Machinery Manufacturing, up 44.2 percent; Clothing and Clothing Accessories, up 4 percent; and Food and Beverage Stores, up 7.3 percent.

Other categories showing increases in July included General Merchandise Stores, up 2.8 percent; Furniture and Home Furnishings, up 0.9 percent; and Accommodations, up 109.2 percent.

Not all the news was good, however. The Construction Industry classification was down 5.9 percent in July over July 2011 and the Food Services and Drinking Places category was down 0.6 percent.

Nevada Records Two Straight Years Of Taxable Sales Increases With 7.9 Percent Gain In June

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:57 pm August 29th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada recorded two straight years of increases in taxable sales through June, with a statewide gain of 7.9 percent over June 2011, the state Department of Taxation reported today.

Taxable sales totaled $3.9 billion in June compared to $3.6 billion in June 2011. For the 2012 fiscal year, taxable sales rose 7.6 percent over 2011.

Clark County taxable sales were up 8.9 percent in June and Washoe County saw a 3 percent gain.

The largest increases in taxable sales were seen in the utilities category, up 214.5 percent; motor vehicles and parts dealers, up 17.4 percent; merchant wholesalers-durable goods, up 16.3 percent, food services and drinking places, up 3.8 percent; and clothing and clothing accessories stores, up 6.7 percent.

Author: Dany kg via Wikimedia Commons.

Other categories showing increases included the construction industry, up 7.3 percent; general merchandise stores, up 0.3 percent; food stores, up 4.1 percent; furniture and home furnishings, up 4.1 percent; and accommodations, up 19.2 percent.

Thirteen of Nevada’s seventeen counties recorded an increase in taxable sales for June 2012 compared to June 2011. Eureka, Lyon, Pershing, and White Pine counties recorded declines.

Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada (RAN), said there is a lot of good news in the June report.

“There’s a lot to be happy about and retail and (the) retail industry is obviously glad to be leading that 24-month increase in taxable sales, and of course, what that will bring into the state budget which gets spent on, among other things, education,” he said.

One of the healthiest indicators in the June report is the 16.3 percent increase in durable goods, which includes major purchases such as washing machines and refrigerators, Wachter said.

“I think what those numbers kind of show is a willingness for folks to buy things that maybe they’ve been putting off for awhile,” he said.

The monthly report shows that the state general fund share of the sales and uses taxes totaled $79.2 million in June for a 5.4 percent increase over June 2011. State sales taxes are now about $41 million above what was forecasted by the Economic Forum in May of 2011.

The positive trend in retail-based taxable sales is expected to continue through the remainder of the year, Wachter said.

“We’ll start looking forward to back-to-school spending to show some increase, and we’ll start seeing that maybe towards the end of the July numbers going into August,” he said. “We anticipate a 15 percent increase in back-to-school spending in 2012 over 2011 and we think we’re going to hit it.

“And we hope then that that kind of leads us into the holiday shopping season,” Wachter said. “We’ll hit Halloween and we’ll enter into Christmas and we think we’ll have positive news all the way through December.”

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Audio clips:

Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada, says there is a lot of good news in the report:

082912Wachter1 :31 off for awhile.”

Wachter says the association anticipates a strong finish to the year:

082912Wachter2 :26 way through December.”

 

Nevada Posts Double-Digit Gain In Taxable Sales In May, 23rd Consecutive Month Of Increases

By Sean Whaley | 3:02 pm July 27th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada taxable sales jumped by double-digits in May, with consumers purchasing $3.7 billion in goods for a 10.4 percent increase over May 2011, the state Department of Taxation reported today.

Clark County taxable sales were up 10 percent, while Washoe County saw a 4.9 percent gain.

Photo by Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons.

All major taxable sales categories were up in May over May 2011.

Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada, said the broad increases across all major categories, from vehicles to general merchandise, is especially noteworthy.

“Things are starting to look good,” he said. “Obviously unemployment is still going to be a huge indicator on where people have disposable income, where consumer confidence is going, and the numbers would appear that people are reasonable in making purchases and feel like it.”

The largest increases were seen in the categories of Motor Vehicles and Parts Dealers, up 20.8 percent; food services and drinking places, up 7.8 percent, merchant wholesalers – durable goods, up 13.7 percent; machinery manufacturing, up 84.9 percent; and clothing and clothing accessories, up 8.9 percent.

Other categories showing increases included the construction industry, up 6.8 percent; general merchandise stores, up 6.2 percent; food and beverage stores, up 11.2 percent; furniture and home furnishings, up 3.5 percent; and accommodations, up 87.9 percent.

Fifteen of Nevada’s seventeen counties recorded an increase in taxable sales for May 2012 compared to May 2011, with only Lincoln and Lyon counties reporting a decrease.

It was the 23rd consecutive month of increases in taxable sales.

The sales taxes collected from the consumer activity are now about $34.5 million more for the 2012 fiscal year through May than what was projected by the Economic Forum.

Wachter said the upcoming back-to-school shopping season will provide further guidance on how Nevada’s economy will perform through the fall and holiday shopping season.

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Audio clips:

Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada, says Nevada unemployment will play an important role in consumer confidence but the May numbers are great:

072712Wachter1 :22 these are great.”

Wachter says the upcoming back-to-school shopping season should be a good indicator of Nevada’s economic health for the remainder of the year:

072712Wachter2 :11 make some improvements.”

 

 

 

 

Nevada Posts Double-Digit Gains In Taxable Sales in February

By Sean Whaley | 4:32 pm April 26th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada consumers purchased $3.2 billion worth of taxable goods in February, a 10.2 percent increase over February 2011 and the 20th consecutive month of increases, the state Department of Taxation reported today.

A number of major taxable sales categories saw double-digit gains, including motor vehicles and parts dealers, up 22.9 percent; bars and restaurants, up 11.9 percent; furniture and home furnishings, up 15.4 percent, and general merchandise stores, up 16.9 percent.

Car dealership. / Photo by Coolcaesar via Wikimedia Commons.

Also seeing big increases were merchant wholesalers-durable goods, up 18 percent; clothing and clothing accessories stores, up 11.3 percent; and accommodations, up 25.7 percent.

The only major category reflecting a decline was the construction industry, which was off 25.5 percent over February 2011.

Both Clark County, up 11.1 percent; and Washoe County, up 10.7 percent; saw double-digit gains.

Fourteen of Nevada’s seventeen counties recorded an increase in taxable sales for February 2012 compared to February 2011. Only Elko, Humboldt and White Pine Counties recorded a decrease.

Compared to the May 2011 Economic Forum projections and based on department analysis, the general fund portion of the sales and use taxes is approximately 4 percent or $21.2 million above its forecast for fiscal year 2012 through February.

Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada, said the February report is encouraging for a number of reasons, including the big increase in the accommodations category, which reflects stronger tourism numbers.

Casino win numbers were strong in both January and February of this year.

“Very optimistic looking forward,” he said. “We’ve got reason to believe that March and April are going to be good months as well. We projected an increase in spending in the spring for Easter.”

The unseasonably warm weather has contributed to the increases in several of the categories, Wachter said.

One ongoing concern is Nevada’s 12 percent unemployment rate, he said.

“We’re still mildly concerned,” Wachter said. “We need to get people spending money and the best way to do that is to give them a job. But these numbers are worth being optimistic for.”

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Audio clips:

Bryan Wachter of the Retail Association of Nevada says the strong numbers should carry through March and April as well:

042612Wachter1 :12 spring for Easter.”

Wachter says Nevada’s 12 percent unemployment rate remains a concern but the February taxable sales report is cause for optimism:

042612Wachter2 :11 being optimistic for.”

 

 

Taxable Sales Post Modest But Broad 4.8 Percent Gain In January

By Sean Whaley | 4:14 pm March 29th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s taxable sales climbed 4.8 percent in January to $3.15 billion, with increases in all major consumer categories except construction, the state Department of Taxation reported today.

It was the 19th month of taxable sales increases in Nevada and brought the increase for the fiscal year 2012 to date to 7.2 percent. Taxable sales increased by 6.1 percent in Washoe County and 3.5 percent in Clark County in January.

The biggest increases were seen in clothing and clothing accessory stores, up 12.8 percent; motor vehicle and parts dealers, up 8.1 percent; utilities, up 80.7 percent; bars and restaurants, up 2.4 percent; and merchant wholesalers-durable goods, up 8.2 percent.

Construction remained the weak link, down 17 percent in January over January 2011.

Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada, said the report provides more evidence that Nevada’s economy is on the mend. Nineteen months of increases is a great trend, not only for retailers but for the state as a whole, he said.

“We saw an increase in 15 of the 17 counties as well as in most categories,” Wachter said. “We’re not seeing sales tax increases in just general merchandise or just food, we’re seeing it across the board.

“We’ll be excited when construction can start matching those trends, but for now the fact that we’re posting gains in large purchases as well as small purchases – for instance we’re seeing gains in car purchases as well as general merchandise – that is something we feel is positive and a great trend moving forward,” he said.

The optimism is expected to carry forward through the spring.

The association earlier this week reported that Nevada consumers are projected to spend upwards of $290 million on holiday meals, gifts, candy, spring clothing and decorations, flowers and greeting cards to help celebrate the upcoming Easter holiday, which falls on April 8 this year.

Peeps. / Photo by Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons.

The annual Easter spending survey, commissioned by the National Retail Federation (NRF), reported an increase in average spending per person of 11 percent in 2012 ($145.28) compared to last year ($131.04). The NRF attributes the rise to both unseasonably warm weather conditions in many parts of the country and improving consumer confidence levels.

Mary Lau, president of the Retail Association of Nevada, noted that Easter falls more than two weeks earlier than it did last year.

“Because Easter falls on vastly different calendar dates every year, the Easter displays in stores are a good reminder to consumers that the holiday is approaching and that it is time to start preparing to celebrate with family and friends,” she said.

Audio clips:

Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada, says the January taxable sales increase was broad based:

032912Wachter4 :27 across the board.”

Wachter says until construction recovers, gains in small and large categories is a great trend:

032912Wachter2 :21 trend moving forward.”

Wachter says the association expects an increase in Easter discretionary purchases:

032912Wachter3 :30 excited about that.”

 

Statewide Taxable Sales Up Modest 3.8% In December But Near Double-Digits In Las Vegas

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 6:46 pm February 27th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s taxable sales rose 3.8 percent in December 2011 over December 2010, a modest rise that was outpaced in Clark County which saw a 9.5 percent gain in the important indicator of consumer health.

A major decline in taxable sales in Elko County in December was largely responsible for the overall smaller statewide increase.

Statewide taxable sales totaled $4.2 billion in December, with the biggest increases coming in bars and restaurants, up 8.8 percent; clothing and accessory stores, up 12.9 percent; motor vehicle dealers, up 15.3 percent; and merchant wholesalers-durable goods, up 14.2 percent.

Bar and restaurant sales were up 8.8% in December, 2011. / Photo: Anna Frodesiak courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The December numbers, released by the Nevada Department of Taxation, follow a November taxable sales report that showed a 9.6 percent gain.

Clark County reported taxable sales of just under $3 billion, up from $2.7 billion in December, 2010. Washoe County also had strong results, up 6.1 percent in December 2011 over December 2010.

The overall taxable sales numbers would have been higher except for a big decline in taxable sales in Elko County. Elko taxable sales were down by more than 50 percent in December to $142.5 million compared to $295.6 million in December 2010.

If Elko County taxable sales had remained flat in December 2011 over December 2010, statewide taxable sales would have been up over 7 percent.

Brody Leiser, spokesman for the Department of Taxation, said today that a major pipeline project being built across northern Nevada was the main factor in the Elko drop off in December of 2011. The project had seen major purchases in December 2010 that were not duplicated this past December, he said.

Nevada Retail Sales Outlook For 2011 Positive

By Sean Whaley | 1:54 pm February 28th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Based on the latest taxable sales results, Nevada will likely match national forecasts calling for 4 percent growth in retail sales for 2011, the Retail Association of Nevada said today.

Much of the growth will likely be in areas other than discretionary spending, however, the group noted in its release.

Statewide, December and fiscal-year-to-date taxable sales comparisons to the prior year are largely positive, with sales up 11.2 percent in Nevada in December and 4.9 percent for the fiscal year-to-date.

Several counties are reporting somewhat less encouraging results, including Douglas, which was up just 0.3 percent for the month and is down 1.0 percent fiscal year-to-date. Washoe County reported a 5.6 percent increase in December and a 1.5 percent increase for the six month period ending in December. Carson City is up 4.9 percent in the latest month and 5.8 percent thus far in the current fiscal year. In Clark, sales are up 2.8 percent and 2.4 percent in December and fiscal year-to-date, respectively.

The review of the taxable sales data was authored by Applied Analysis, a Nevada-based firm providing information and analyses for both the public and private sectors.

The report shows that most of the significant growth is taxable sales activity – some of it in the triple-digit percentages and in the hundreds of millions of dollars – was generated in rural counties such as Elko, Esmeralda, Humboldt, Storey and White Pine. Sizable taxable sales gains in these counties are largely attributed to growth in sales related to utilities, mining and manufacturing equipment purchases.

So increases in taxable retail spending in rural jurisdictions appear to be less attributable to individual consumers, and more the result of rural industry investment. While still encouraging, much of this industrial investment is nonrecurring in nature.

Mary Lau, president of the Retail Association of Nevada, said core retailer categories reported mixed results in December statewide, with pockets of both encouraging results in auto sales, clothing and Internet retailers, and less encouraging results in building materials and general merchandise sales.

“With continued growth in mining and mining-related activities, it is likely Nevada will report gains in taxable sales consistent with national expectations for 2011,” she said. “However, it remains to be seen how much of that growth will be attributed to substantial improvement in consumer discretionary spending in our larger metropolitan areas, as opposed to relatively isolated growth occurring in our more rural areas.”

Based on seven consecutive months of national retail sales growth and better than expected holiday sales, the National Retail Federation (NRF) is projecting a 4 percent increase in retail industry sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) in 2011. However, the federation cautions that rising commodity prices and continued high unemployment could become obstacles to economic growth.

With the price of oil rising to a new two-year high this week as unrest in the Middle East escalates, concerns about potential stagflation conditions are not entirely without merit.

In December, Clark County reported increases in sales in accommodations and eating and drinking places of 13.7 percent and 17.6 percent, respectively.  However, high oil prices mean high gasoline costs and rising airfare, both of particular concern to the Nevada tourism industry. The tourism industry and visitor spending strongly affect retail sales throughout the state.


Nevada’s Taxable Sales Edge Down In May After Rare Up Month in April

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:30 pm July 27th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s taxable sales fell 1.9 percent in May over May 2009, a decline following April which saw the first positive month for the economic indicator in 20 months, the state Department of Taxation reported today.

May statewide taxable sales totaled $3.1 billion compared to $3.2 billion in May 2009.

Taxable sales are down just over 11 percent so far for the 2010 fiscal year, which ended June 30. One more month of collections, from June, must still be reported for the year.

Clark County taxable sales were down 1.4 percent in May to $2.3 billion, while Washoe County sales were off by 3.8 percent and totaled $425 million.

The largest increases in statewide taxable sales were seen in the categories of accommodations, up 23 percent; clothing and clothing accessories stores, up 10.7 percent; electronics and appliance stores, up 15.8 percent; professional scientific and technical services, up 19.3 percent; and telecommunications, up 14 percent.

Home furniture and furnishings also saw an increase in May, up 6.2 percent over May 2009.

Other major taxable sales categories were down in May, including the construction industry classification by 31.6 percent;, merchant wholesalers- durable goods, off 11.1 percent; motor vehicles and parts dealers, down 1.7 percent; general merchandise stores, off 0.3 percent; and food and beverage stores, down 7.2 percent. Bars and restaurants were down 0.7 percent.

Twelve of Nevada’s 17 counties recorded a decrease in taxable sales for May 2010 compared to May 2009. Esmeralda, Eureka, Lincoln, Pershing and White Pine counties recorded positive taxable sales for the period.

Gross revenue collections from sales and use taxes amounted to $248 million for May 2010 which represents a 3.3 percent increase compared to May 2009, and a 5.8 percent decrease for the eleven months of fiscal year 2010. Of this amount, approximately $2.7 million was collected under an amnesty program.

Compared to the January 2010 Economic Forum projections, the general fund portion of the sales and use taxes is 3.2 percent, or $21.5 million, above the forecast for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2010.

Gov. Jim Gibbons said Nevada’s taxable sales reports are showing signs of improvement, with six successive months of positive or single-digit declines after more than a year of double-digit declines.

“This administration remains committed to addressing these challenges by streamlining operations, improving customer services and maximizing the use of taxpayer dollars,” he said.

Nevada Taxable Sales Up 2 Percent In April, First Increase In 20 Months

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 3:10 pm June 28th, 2010

CARSON CITY – A sign that Nevada may have finally hit bottom in the national recession emerged today when the Department of Taxation reported an increase in taxable sales in April – the first in 20 months.

Statewide taxable sales totaled $3.3 billion in April, up 2 percent over April of 2009. But for the 10 months of fiscal year 2010, taxable sales are down 11.9 percent over the same period in the prior fiscal year.

Clark County taxable sales were up 3.5 percent to $2.5 billion, but Washoe County’s numbers were down 7.1 percent to $395 million.

Gov. Jim Gibbons said it was the first taxable sales increase since August of 2008, when a tax amnesty program was under way. A new tax amnesty program is set to start Thursday.

This April also saw the launching of the Nevada Appliance Rebate Program that awarded participants up to $200 for replacing an old appliance with an Energy Star model.

“We will be persistent in using all available resources to stimulate and promote the road to Nevada’s economic recovery,” Gibbons said.

Nevada’s major taxable sales categories were a mixed bag in April, with construction industry related sales down 32.1 percent over April 2009 and durable goods off by 15.9 percent. But motor vehicle and parts dealers were up by double-digits to 10.9 percent,

Also up were clothing and accessories stores, 5.2 percent; home furniture and furnishings, 24.2 percent; accommodations, 15 percent; and bars and restaurants, 0.1 percent.

Ten of Nevada’s seventeen counties recorded a decrease in taxable sales for April 2010 compared to April 2009. Carson City, Clark, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Storey counties recorded positive taxable sales for the period.

Gross revenue collections from sales and use taxes amounted to $256 million for April 2010 which represents a 6.4 percent increase compared to April 2009, and a 6.6 percent decrease for the ten months of fiscal year 2010.

The general fund portion of the sales and use taxes collected amounted to $65 million, which represents a 1.2 percent increase compared to April 2009. Compared to the January 2010 Economic Forum projections, the general fund portion of the sales and use taxes is 3.2 percent, or $19.3 million, above the panel’s forecast for the 10 months of fiscal year 2010.

Nevada November Taxable Sales Down Double Digits But Improve Over Prior Months

By Sean Whaley | 12:59 pm January 26th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s taxable sales fell by 10.9 percent in November 2009 over the same month in 2008, making it the 13th month of double-digit declines in economic activity in the state. The $3 billion in goods sold in Nevada in November brought the fiscal year to date taxable sales decline to 18.1 percent.

In what might be a sign of improvement, the decline was lower than the 17.8 percent decline in October, and a 17.7 percent decline in September, according to the release by the Nevada Department of Taxation.

Gov. Jim Gibbons said: “The release of taxable sales and revenue collection data for the month of November indicates that, although revenues continue to decline in light of the sustained weakness in the housing and job markets, the pace has slowed.  The administration continues to search for ways to save money, reduce spending, and promote efficiencies in government.”

All major taxable sales categories except clothing and accessories stores, up 2.7 percent, were down in November 2009 compared to November 2008. But some of the declines were more modest than in previous months. Home furniture and furnishings were off by 1.4 percent, while general merchandise stores were off by 1.5 percent.

The largest categories continue to show a state economy that is in a protracted slowdown, however.  Motor vehicle and parts dealers were down 9.3 percent, bars and restaurants were down 10 percent, the construction industry classification was off by 44.6 percent and merchant wholesalers-durable goods were off 30.2 percent.

Thirteen of Nevada’s 17 counties recorded a decrease in taxable sales for November 2009 compared to November 2008. Only Humboldt, Lincoln, Mineral and Nye counties recorded positive taxable sales for the period.

The taxes generated by the sale of goods are a major source of revenue for the state budget. In part because of the continued slump in taxable sales, Gov. Jim Gibbons and the Nevada Legislature face a $1 billion shortfall in the current two-year budget that will require major cuts to programs and services. A special session of the Legislature to deal with the shortfall is expected in late February or early March.

The 2009-2011 budget was balanced by the Legislature using the assumption that taxable sales would decline by an average of 4.9 percent this year and grow by 2.1 percent in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

But on Friday, those estimates were revised downward to reflect an average 13.4 percent decline this year and a 4.7 percent decline next year. The difference is nearly a $183 million shortfall in this state budget revenue source alone. Assumptions for other major tax revenues were lowered as well.

Dino DiCianno, executive director of the Tax Department, said Friday during a hearing on the new revenue estimates that Nevada has a long way to go to get out of the current slump.

“I do see some glimmer of hope; there are certain sectors within the economy in this state that are starting to rebound,” he said. “But the problem is, without construction, which is a major driver, and without automobile dealerships selling cars, we’ve got a long ways to go folks, a long ways to go.”

Data from Nevada Department of Taxation

October Taxable Sales Continue Year-Long Double-Digit Slump

By Sean Whaley | 3:47 pm December 23rd, 2009
CARSON CITY – Nevada’s statewide taxable sales continued to generate dismal numbers in October, plunging 17.8 percent compared to the same month in 2008, a report released today by the Department of Taxation shows.

Consumers purchased $3.1 billion worth of taxable goods in October, compared to $3.7 billion in October 2008. For the first four months of the fiscal year, taxable sales are off by 19.7 percent.

It was the 12th consecutive month of double-digit declines in the economic indicator.

The report did nothing to alleviate concerns about the health of the state budget and the likelihood that a special legislative session will be needed to deal with the drop in state tax revenues, which were off by $67 million prior to the release of the October numbers.

Sales and use tax collections are now $18 million below what was forecasted for the first four months of the 2010 fiscal year. Sales and use taxes make up a big share of the state general fund budget.

“The release of taxable sales and revenue collection data for the month of October continue to illustrate the effects of high unemployment rates, cautious consumer spending and an overall decline in business activity,” Gov. Jim Gibbons said. “My administration will continue our efforts to encourage increased tourism, promote business growth, expansion, and diversity within this state, and raise consumer confidence to better prepare Nevada for the future.”

Taxable sales were down 19 percent in Clark County and 10.5 percent in Washoe County and were down in 15 of the state’s 17 counties. Only Humboldt and Storey counties posted gains.

Of the major taxable sales categories, only clothing and accessories stores posted a positive number, up 4.2 percent over October 2008.

The single largest category, bars and restaurants, which in September had showed an increase, was down again in October by 8.9 percent.

Home furniture and furnishings were off by 19.3 percent, motor vehicle and parts dealers were down 14.1 percent and the construction industry classification was off by 39 percent.

Gibbons is expected to decide on whether to call a special session in late January, after the Economic Forum, a panel of private industry fiscal experts, weighs in on revenue forecasts for the remainder of the two years of the budget.

Gibbons has asked state agencies to submit by plans by early next month showing what budget cuts of 6 percent to 10 percent would mean to their programs and services.

Taxable Sales Down by Double Digits in September as Gibbons Weighs Need for Special Session

By Sean Whaley | 11:30 am December 1st, 2009

CARSON CITY – The final economic report anticipated by the Gibbons administration before deciding whether a special Legislative session is needed to balance the budget was released today, and the news was not good.

The taxable sales report showed consumers and tourists purchased $3.2 billion worth of goods in September, a 17.7 percent decline over September 2008.

For the first three months of the fiscal year that began July 1, taxable sales are down 20.3 percent compared to the same period in the previous year.

It was the 11th straight month of double-digit declines.

The one bright spot in the report was sales taxes collected from bars and restaurants, which was up 5.5 percent in September 2009 over September 2008. All other major categories were lower, many by double digits. The construction category was off by nearly 57 percent.

Clark County taxable sales were down 16.5 percent, while Washoe County was off 20.6 percent.

Tax collections to the state general fund are down by $12.5 million compared to what was forecasted.

The report, released by the Department of Taxation, is the first to show how the modified business tax revenues are performing. The tax was hiked by the Legislature for large businesses to raise additional funds to balance the current budget. The tax rate was lowered for small businesses.

The report shows the business tax collections compared to estimates are down 3.4 percent, or $15 million from what was anticipated.

The news was not as grim for other state general fund revenue sources.

The insurance premium tax quarterly report shows collections are off by less than 1 percent for the first three months of fiscal year 2010. The real property transfer tax is actually up by 4.6 percent compared to projections.

Gov. Jim Gibbons said of the report: “September tax collections continue to reflect that Nevada is heavily impacted by the current national economic recession.

“We must all work together to stimulate our economy by creating jobs and getting Nevadans working,” he said. “My administration will also maintain our efforts to keep government spending in check and we will monitor and plan for the effects of the overall condition of the economy.”

Gibbons spokesman Dan Burns said the report completes the revenue side of the picture needed to assess the health of the budget. Spending information is still being gathered by the governor and staff, he said.

“Gov. Gibbons will use revenue and spending numbers and will seek input from legislative leaders and others before determining whether a special session is necessary,” Burns said.

The decision could come later this month or in January.