Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009 | 4:33 p.m.
CARSON CITY – Taxable sales in Clark County nose-dived 19 percent in October compared to the same month a year ago, continuing their 14th straight month of decline.
The sale of building materials and furniture were especially hard hit, while clothing showed an increase.
The Nevada Department of Taxation reported Wednesday that taxable sales statewide slumped 17.8 percent to $3 billion, their 13th consecutive month of a decline.
Gov. Jim Gibbons said the gloomy picture continues “to illustrate the effects of high unemployment rates, cautious consumer spending and an overall decline in business activity.”
The department said the sale of building materials in Clark County fell 34.2 percent in October. Furniture sales fell 20.4 percent. There has not been an increase in the furniture business in Clark County since May 2006.
After 13 months of declining sales, clothing posted a 3.4 percent increase in Clark County. Auto sales, which haven’t posted an increase in business since October 2007, dropped 13.4 percent in October.
The bar and restaurant business fell 9.21 percent and sales in general merchandise inched down 2.3 percent.
Total taxable sales in Clark County were $2.2 billion compared to $2.7 billion in October 2008. And for this fiscal year, the sales are down 20.7 percent.
Collections from the sales and use tax statewide totaled $241 million, down 12.2 percent from October 2008. The receipts are $18 million, or 2.25 percent, below the projections of the Economic Forum on which the state’s budget was based.
Taxes on cigarettes yielded $1.46 million, off 1.5 percent from the Economic Forum forecasts for the four months of this fiscal year. The liquor tax however brought in $705,000, or 1.76 percent more than estimates. And the live entertainment tax collections produced $801,900 in October but are 0.35 percent below predictions for this fiscal year.
Washoe County recorded a 10.5 percent decline in taxable sales; Carson City was off 15.1 percent and the biggest drops were in White Pine County down 66.2 percent and Churchill County off 40.8 percent.