AP News

Nevada taxable sales up 4.7 percent in July

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Taxable sales in Nevada continued a positive streak in July, increasing 4.7 percent over the same month last year and marking the 25th consecutive month of steady gains, the Department of Taxation reported Thursday.

Nevada merchants sold $3.5 billion in goods in July, on which the state collected nearly $277.7 million in gross sales and use taxes for the first month of the fiscal year. Of that, the portion that goes to the state general fund amounted to $70.3 million, up nearly 4 percent from July 2011.

In Clark County, the state's population and tourism hub, taxable sales of $2.5 billion were up 5.4 percent. Washoe County in northern Nevada saw sales increase to $489.5 million, up 5.6 percent.

Carson City, the state capital, saw a 5 percent gain, while sales in Elko County remained flat on the year-over-year comparison.

Ten of Nevada's 17 counties reported increased sales activity, the exceptions being Eureka, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, Storey and White Pine counties, the report said.

Some notable industries posting strong gains were autos and durable goods, accommodations, and machinery manufacturing.

Vehicle and parts sales rose 14.2 percent in July, while sales of durable goods, such as appliances, were up 10.1 percent. Clothing and accessory stores saw a 4 percent increase, while sales at food and beverage stores rose 7.3 percent.

Accommodations, a key barometer of Nevada's vital tourism industry, rose 109 percent over July 2011, the report said. But sales at bars and restaurants dropped 0.6 percent.

The $70.3 million in July tax collections that goes to the state general fund is about 3 percent, or $2 million, above projections made in May 2011 by the independent Economic Forum. The forum, an appointed panel of financial experts, estimates state revenues for the two-year budget cycle. Their projections lay the groundwork for the state budget.

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