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Nevada records two straight years of taxable sales increases


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.

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 17 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, 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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