Nevada merchants sold $3.4 billion in goods during the month, on which the state collected $266 million in gross sales and use taxes. The tax collections represent a 5.4 percent increase from July 2010, and the $67.7 million that goes to the state general fund was up 5 percent.
Fourteen of Nevada’s 17 counties reported increases. The two largest, Clark and Washoe, posted increased sales of 2.6 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. Carson City, the state capital, and Churchill and Lincoln counties posted declines.
Industries reporting some of the largest gains included bars and restaurants, up 10 percent; clothing and accessories, up 17.1 percent; durable goods, up 12.9 percent; and vehicles and auto parts, up 5.4 percent.
The construction industry, which suffered double-digit declines in a state that leads the nation in foreclosures, bankruptcies and unemployed, posted an increase of 3.5 percent, the report said.
But accommodations, considered a key indicator of Nevada’s tourism industry, fell nearly 20 percent.
In Clark County, the state’s economic engine that is home to 2 million people, sales totaled $2.4 billion, up from $2.3 billion a year ago. Accommodation sales there fell 8 percent, while sales at bars and restaurants rose 10.8 percent.
Washoe County reported combined sales of $463.8 million. Accommodation sales fell 91 percent in July, while bar and restaurant sales rose 6.1 percent.
The taxation department said the general fund portion of taxes collected in July are about $1.1 million above the forecast made in May by the Economic Forum, an independent panel that projects revenue trends used to build the state budget.