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Sean Whaley

Nevada Taxable Sales Up

28 October 2004

CARSON CITY -- Statewide taxable sales rose by 11.8 percent in August over the same month a year ago, led by construction and auto purchases, the Department of Taxation reported Wednesday.

Taxable sales totaled $3.5 billion in August compared with $3.1 billion in August 2003.

It was the ninth double-digit increase in the past 13 months.

Clark County taxable sales were up 10.4 percent to $2.5 billion in August. Washoe County's taxable sales jumped 14 percent to nearly $600 million.

Fourteen of 17 counties reported taxable sales growth in August.

The biggest gains in sales taxes were in the categories of home furniture and furnishing stores, up 42.6 percent; building materials and hardware stores, up 37.1 percent; wholesale trade and durable goods, up 33.4 percent; and automotive dealers and gasoline, up 10.4 percent.

Other categories showing increases included miscellaneous retail, up 9.8 percent; general merchandise stores, up 8 percent; construction special trade, up 29.7 percent; food stores, up 4.3 percent; and apparel and accessory stores, up 8 percent.

Showing a lower percentage increase than in past months, eating and drinking places statewide were up only 3 percent in August, with a 2.8 percent gain in Clark County.

State taxes collected from the sale of taxable goods grew by 14 percent over August 2003 with $71.2 million in revenue. Sales tax collections are well above what forecasters had projected.

State cigarette tax collections totaled nearly $11 million in August, a 147 percent increase over August 2003. The 2003 Legislature raised the tax on a pack of cigarettes to 80 cents from 35 cents in late July, but the full effect of the increase hadn't been seen in August of last year.

Liquor taxes totaled $2.9 million in August, up 20.6 percent over the same month a year ago. These taxes were increased by 75 percent on Aug. 1, 2003, so the increase does reflect the jump.

The live entertainment tax imposed by the Legislature last year continues to perform well below expectations, bringing in $593,000 in August. The new tax on some nongaming entertainment businesses was originally projected to bring in about $5 million a month.