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Nevada sales rise 9 percent in September

Sandra Chereb, Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Taxable sales in Nevada jumped 9 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago, as consumers spent more on construction projects, wining, dining and home furnishings, the Department of Taxation reported Monday.

Merchants statewide sold $4 billion of taxable goods in September, up from $3.7 billion a year earlier. The state collected $318.6 million in sales and use taxes based on the latest sales, with collections up 8.8 percent.

In Clark County, sales totaled $2.97 billion, up 10.5 percent over September 2012, when sales were $2.69 billion. Washoe County in northern Nevada saw an increase of 10.7 percent in activity, with sales totaling $541.3 million, up from $489 million in the same month last year.

Ten of Nevada's 17 counties saw higher taxable sales in September, with Churchill, Elko, Esmeralda, Lander, Lincoln, Pershing and White Pine counties being the exceptions.

Several sectors saw double-digit gains.

Sales at bars and restaurants, a key indicator of Nevada's vital tourism industry, rose 17.6 percent, while miscellaneous manufacturing saw a 41.6 percent gain, the report said.

Vehicle and parts sales rose 5 percent and home furnishings climbed 8.6 percent.

Nevada's beleaguered construction industry, which was hammered during the recession and housing market meltdown, saw sales increase 16.6 percent.

Meanwhile, sales at food and beverage stores jumped 12.7 percent; clothing and accessories rose 4.5 percent; general merchandise was up 4.6 percent; and rental and leasing services increased 19.8 percent.

On the flip side, durable goods slipped 5.5 percent and accommodations fell 7.7 percent.

The portion of taxes collected in September that supports the state general fund amounted to $77.6 million, representing a 4.7 percent increase.

But for the fiscal year that began July 1, general fund sales and use tax revenues are $7.2 million below projections made in May by the Economic Forum, an independent panel that forecasts revenues on which the state budget is based.

Nevada also collected $92 million in September in quarterly modified business taxes paid by businesses and financial institutions. Those collections were off 2 percent from the same quarter in 2012 and were $1.4 million below the forum's forecast.

Excise taxes, which include levies on cigarettes tobacco and live entertainment, totaled $123 million in September, up 6.4 percent.