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Double-digit increases in Clark, Washoe counties fuel 8 percent boost in May taxable sales

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RENO, Nevada — Nevada's taxable sales rose 8 percent in May compared with the same month a year ago, but sales and use-tax collections are lagging behind projections for the current fiscal year by about one-half of a percent, according to the state Department of Taxation.

Eleven of Nevada's 17 counties saw taxable sales decline in May, but the two largest offset that with double-digit increases — 12.7 percent in Clark County and 11.7 percent in Washoe County, the department said Wednesday.

Taxable sales totaled $3.2 billion in Clark County in May and nearly $560 million in Washoe County. The statewide total was $4.25 billion.

General merchandise stores led the way with a statewide increase of 37.8 percent. The construction industry fell 23 percent. Car sales were up 9.4 percent, and bars and restaurants rose 6.6 percent.

Overall, sales and use taxes are down $4.3 million, or 0.5 percent, from what the Economic Forum projected from July 2013 through May, but are up 5 percent for that period compared with the previous fiscal year.

Several rural counties saw significant declines in taxable sales in May compared with May 2013, including Humbolt County, which saw its sales cut nearly in half, 48.9 percent. Sales also fell more than 20 percent in Pershing (35.3 percent), Lander (31.2 percent), Esmeralda (27.9 percent), Eureka (24.2 percent) and Churchill (20.1 percent) counties.

Increases were recorded in Storey (18.2 percent), Carson City (7.8 percent), Douglas (1.9 percent) and Elko (0.1 percent) counties.

In Clark County, miscellaneous manufacturing sales jumped 83.1 percent to $36.5 million. Heavy construction and engineering construction sales rose 48.8 percent to $9.5 million.

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