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Taxable sales continue sharp decline

Nye County taxable sales in September were $44.4 million, a $9 million month-to-month increase from August, according to a report released recently by the Nevada Department of Taxation.

However, the taxable sales figures in Nye County for the month were down 24 percent from the same month in 2013, largely due to winding down of the SolarReserve Crescent Dunes project near Tonopah earlier this year.

Taxable sales from specialty trade contractors, who build renewable energy projects, dropped 94 percent from $18.2 million in September 2013 to $1.13 million in September 2014. The September figures this year are more comparable to September 2012, before the solar plant construction, when Nye County had $48.8 million in taxable sales, or the $49.2 million in taxable sales recorded in September 2011.

Other economic indicators made gains in September 2014 compared to a year ago to pick up the slack, including 39 miscellaneous manufacturers in Nye County who saw their taxable sales increase from $440,315 in September 2013 to $1.12 million in September 2014, a 154 percent increase, while support activities for mining increased 61.7 percent from $778,711 to $1.26 million. Taxable sales on machinery manufacturing rose 25.6 percent from $1.8 million to $2.3 million.

Non-store retailers experienced a 55.5 percent rise in taxable sales over September 2013, increasing from $887,106 to $1.38 million. The field of professional, scientific and technical services registered a 168 percent increase in taxable sales, from $882,614 in September 2013 to $2.36 million in September 2014.

Among other six-figure taxable sales categories, merchant wholesalers of durable goods, a category related to the mining industry, was down 12.7 percent from $3.64 million to $3.17 million. Chemical manufacturing was down 22.6 percent from $3.3 million to $2.6 million.

On more of a consumer level, motor vehicle and parts dealers experienced a 6.6 percent increase in taxable sales in September 2014 from $5.37 million a year ago to $5.72 million; taxable sales for food and beverage stores was down 2.2 percent, from $2.15 million to $2.1 million; general merchandise stores had a 2.3 percent reduction in taxable sales, from $3.6 million to $3.58 million; while taxable sales at food services and drinking places were almost flat, at $3.29 million.

For the first nine months of the calendar year taxable sales in Nye County are down 59 percent from $665.4 million in 2013 to $392.3 million in 2014.

Nye County collected $1.15 million in consolidated taxes in September 2014, which is mostly the 7.6 percent sales tax, which was raised last April from 7.1 percent.

Gaming win increases

The 11 non-restricted gaming licensees in Nye County reported a gaming win of $4.2 million in October, a 4.73 percent increase over October 2013, according to statistics from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

For the quarter ending Oct. 31, non-restricted casinos had an $11.7 million gaming win, a 4.07 percent increase over the August through October period for 2013. For the year from Nov. 1, 2013 through Oct. 31, 2014, the gaming win at non-restricted casinos was up 2.2 percent, to $48.57 million in Nye County.

Unemployment drops

The Nye County unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in October, according to the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation, down from 8.1 percent in September. DETR estimates the number of unemployed in Nye County dropped from 1,399 workers in September to 1,326 workers in October, while the ranks of the employed rose from 15,789 to 15,851. DETR estimates the total work force declined from 17,188 to 17,177 workers from September to October.

The Nye County unemployment rate has steadily declined from 16.3 percent in October 2010, when DETR estimates there were 2,983 unemployed; to 15.6 percent in October 2011 with 2,857 unemployed; to 13.1 percent in October 2012 and 2,301 unemployed; then down to 11.3 percent in October 2013 with 1,924 workers unemployed.

The statewide unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 percent in October, the lowest level since June 2008 and the 45th straight month of unemployment declines dating back to February 2011.

“Through the first 10 months of the year we have added 40,000 new jobs across the state putting more Nevadans back to work,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a prepared statement.

DETR Chief Economist Bill Anderson said Nevada’s job growth has outperformed 48 other states. He said for the first time since 2007 the unemployment rate for all 17 Nevada counties fell below 10 percent in September and October.

After eight straight months in which construction was the fastest growing sector in job growth, DETR said professional and business services were the fastest growing in October, adding 9,500 jobs statewide for a growth rate of 6.4 percent. Construction added 2,100 jobs, a growth rate of 3.5 percent compared to October 2013. Manufacturing added 1,300 jobs, a growth rate of 3.2 percent.

Home building down

The Pahrump Building and Safety Department issued permits to construct only two single-family homes in November, after 10 permits were issued in October. Pahrump Building and Safety issued a total of 27 building permits in November, after a busy month in October with 38, which tied the highest months this year in August and April. Much of the construction work in November was on accessory structures or tenant improvements for future businesses.

Herbst Pahrump took out a $2,101 permit to do tenant improvements at the old Mountain View Casino at 1750 Pahrump Valley Blvd., while Serenity Homes was doing commercial improvements at 1500 E. Highway 372, at 270 Dahlia St. and at 3370 S. Highway 160. Floyd’s Construction took out a $2,480 permit for commercial tenant improvements at the site of a future medical marijuana cultivation facility at 1205 S. Loop Road.

In the first 11 months of calendar year 2014, the department issued a total of 339 building permits, in all of 2013 Pahrump Building and Safety issued 417 building permits. though the 56 single-family home constructions permitted in the first 11 months of this year already exceeds the 52 permitted for all of last year.

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