(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – Nevada’s taxable sales rose 9.6 percent in November over the same month a year ago, driven in large part by car sales and improved business at bars and restaurants, the state Department of Taxationreported today. Taxable sales totaled nearly $3.4 billion for the month.
For the fiscal year that began July 1, 2011, taxable sales are up 8.5 percent through November.
Clark County sales were up 8.6 percent. Washoe County sales were up 5.3 percent.
Fourteen of Nevada’s seventeen counties recorded an increase in taxable sales for November 2011 compared to November 2010: Carson City, Humboldt and White Pine Counties recorded a decrease.
The Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers saw a 9.1 percent gain in November 2011 over November 2010, and the Food Services and Drinking Places were up 7.5 percent over the same period.
Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada, said the report is great news for the state economy.
“This validates that we saw a healthy Black Friday leading into holiday spending,” he said. “We’ll look for December taxable sales to kind of confirm that it was an ongoing kind of Christmas spending pattern as opposed to a one-time event, which we don’t think it was.”
The big jump in auto sales is good news as well because it shows increased consumer confidence in making large purchases, Wachter said.
Increased consumer spending, increased confidence and increased discretionary spending will generate more jobs and ultimately help turn the construction industry around as well, he said.
“It’s very encouraging to see other parts of the economy showing improvement,” Wachter said.
The report showed that a number of other taxable sales categories saw strong growth as well: Clothing and Accessories Stores were up 14.8 percent; Utilities, up 197.3 percent; and Merchant Wholesalers – Durable Goods, up 19.6 percent.
The Construction Industry Classification was down again however, off 15.9 percent over November 2010. Nevada was hard hit by the housing market collapse.
But all other major taxable sales categories saw increases in the report, with Home Furniture and Furnishings up 15 percent, and Accommodations up 12.3 percent.
Gross revenue collections from sales and use taxes amounted to $266.3 million in November 2011, which represents an 8.8 percent increase compared to November 2010 and a 7.4 percent increase through the first five months of fiscal year 2012.
The general fund portion of the sales and use taxes collected amounted to $67.3 million, which represents an 8.5 percent increase compared to November 2010.
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 2.7 percent or $8.9 million above their forecast for fiscal year 2012 through November.