- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Taxable sales in Nevada rose 2.1 percent in November compared with the same month in 2012, with notable gains reported in sales at hotels, bars, restaurants and auto dealerships, the state reported Tuesday.

Merchants statewide sold $3.7 billion in goods, the Department of Taxation reported.

Sales in Clark County of $2.7 billion marked a 5.7 percent increase over November 2012. Washoe County in northern Nevada posted a 9.9 percent gain to $499 million.

Statewide, 10 of Nevada’s 17 counties reported increased sales activity, with the rural counties of Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Nye and White Pine being the exceptions. Mining is a big factor in the rural areas, and taxable sales can swing widely from month to month with the purchase of large equipment.

Bar and restaurant sales statewide rose 8.1 percent in November, while accommodations jumped 26 percent. Both are key indicators of Nevada’s vital tourism industry. Those gains were mostly realized in Clark County, home to the Las Vegas Strip and the state’s main tourist draw, where bar and restaurant sales totaled $698.7 million.

Auto sales statewide rose 7.5 percent, while sales at food and beverage stores climbed 5.7 percent and home furnishing sales increased 5.8 percent.

On the downside, construction sales, an industry hart hit during the recession, fell 8.8 percent.

Nevada collected nearly $297 million in gross sales and use taxes in November, an increase of 4.2 from a year earlier.

Of that, the portion that goes to the state general fund totaled $74.4 million, up 3.1 percent for the month. But general fund sales tax revenue for the fiscal year that began July 1 is running $9.1 million, or 2.3 percent, less than projections made in May by the Economic Forum, an independent panel that projects all state tax revenues on which Nevada’s two-year budget is based.

Also in November, the state collected $26.2 million in excise taxes imposed on such things as tobacco, liquor and live entertainment. That revenue rose 9 percent from the same month in 2012.

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