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Nye taxable sales rise only 3.5 percent

Nye County taxable sales only rose 3.5 percent in October, compared to the same month in 2012, according to figures released by the Nevada Department of Taxation last week.

That comes after months of large increases in taxable sales last year, due largely to the specialty trade contractors, which includes builders of renewable energy projects like the SolarReserve Crescent Dunes solar project near Tonopah.

That category, the largest generator of taxable sales in the county, dropped 20 percent in October, from $14.4 million in October 2012 to $11.53 million in October 2013.

However, due to renewable energy tax abatements granted by the Nevada Legislature, much of the sales increase isn’t reflected in county consolidated tax collections.

Overall, Nye County taxable sales figures increased in October from $55.1 million in 2012 to $57 million in 2013. For the first four months of the fiscal year beginning July 1, county taxable sales increased 26 percent from $186 million to $235 million.

Nye County taxable sales were up 107 percent over 2012 figures in January, up 139 percent in February, 111 percent higher in March, increased 139 percent in April, then dropped to a 58 percent increase in May, rose up to 80 percent in June, followed by a 47 percent increase in July, 42 percent in August and only 19.5 percent in September.

Helping make up for the drop in sales in October were the five utilities reporting sales tax in Nye County, which reported a 370 percent increase in taxable sales, an increase from $400,564 in 2012 to $1.08 million in 2013.

Sales of machinery manufacturing increased 210 percent from $2.48 million to $7.7 million. Five county vendors of petroleum and coal products manufacturing reported a 207 percent increase in taxable sales, from $296,800 to $912,004.

Taxable sales of administrative and support services soared 724 percent over 2012 figures, from $273,940 to $2.26 million. Food and beverage stores reported a 16.4 percent increase.

On the downside, merchant wholesalers of durable goods — an economic category tied to mining — reported a 39 percent drop in taxable sales, from $5.5 million to $3.3 million.

Motor vehicle and parts dealers reported taxable sales down 22.2 percent, from $8.3 million to $4.9 million. A 15.2 percent drop in taxable sales was reported by food services and drinking places.

Sales of building material and garden equipment were down slightly, 1.2 percent, from $2.6 million to $2.55 million. Non-store retailers reported a 3.4 percent drop in taxable sales, from $1.15 million to $1.1 million. General merchandise stores had a .8 percent decline in taxable sales, from $2.57 million to $2.54 million.

Nye County collected $1,116,752 in consolidated taxes in October, of which $914,402 is the sales tax, the rest is cigarette, liquor and real property transfer tax.

For the first four months of the 2013-14 fiscal year, the county has collected $4.39 million in consolidated tax.

But despite the large increases in taxable sales, due to the renewable energy abatements, the county consolidated tax collections are actually $423 less than during the same four months of FY 2012-13.