CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Taxable sales in Nevada rose 4.6 percent in February over the same month a year ago, with several sectors including tourism-related businesses reporting strong gains, the Department of Taxation reported Tuesday.
Nevada merchants sold $3.5 billion in goods in February, on which the state collected $280 million in gross taxes. The tax collections were up 5.8 percent from a year ago.
Sales in Clark County, Nevada's tourism and gambling mecca, rose 10.4 percent to $2.7 billion, up from $2.4 billion the prior year. Washoe County in northern Nevada also saw a double-digit increase, with sales of $476 million representing a 10.7 percent gain from $430 million in February 2013.
Eight of Nevada's 17 counties reported increased sales activity. The exceptions were Churchill, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lincoln, Lander, Mineral, Nye and Pershing. Many rural counties are reliant on the mining industry, where huge equipment purchases are create big swings in monthly sales activity.
Sales of durable goods increased 8.3 percent, while vehicle and parts sales rose 6.2 percent.
Bar and restaurant sales posted a 10.2 percent increase and accommodations rose 3.6 percent. Both are indicators on the health of Nevada's vital tourist industry. Statewide, bar and eatery sales totaled $827 million in February, with Clark County generating $715.5 million of the total. Accommodations had taxable sales of $7.1 million statewide, $6.6 million coming from Nevada' largest county and home to posh resorts.
On the flip side, construction sales fell 77 percent.
The portion of tax collections that go to the state fund totaled $71 million, representing a 7.4 percent increase. For the fiscal year that began July 1, general fund sales tax revenues are about 2 percent of $11.7 million below projections made in May 2013 by the Economic Forum, an independent body that forecasts revenue collections on which the two-year state budget is based.
Nevada in February also collected $24 million in excise taxes on things like tobacco, liquor and live entertainment.