By SANDRA CHEREB
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) â¿¿ Taxable sales in Nevada rose 3 percent in December compared with the same month a year ago, but the Department of Taxation reported Tuesday that general fund revenues from sales tax collections are 2 percent, or about $9 million, less than projections the Economic Forum made late last year.
Still, the December report marks the 30th consecutive month of increased sales activity since Nevada began clawing its way out the Great Recession in July 2010.
Statewide, merchants sold $4.3 billion in goods, on which the state collected $336.5 million in gross sales and use taxes. The revenue collection is up 3.6 percent for the month and 5.6 percent for the fiscal year that began July 1.
For the month, the portion of taxes that feed the state general fund totaled $84.2 million, representing a 2.1 percent increase over December 2011. But for the fiscal year, those collections are $9.3 million below the forecast made Nov. 30 by the Economic Forum, an independent panel of business experts that projects how much money the state will have to spend in the next two years.
The forum's projections are used to build the state budget, and the governor and lawmakers are barred by law from exceeding forum predictions when setting spending unless a new revenue source is specified.
Sales and use taxes account for about 30 percent of general fund revenues.
Eight of Nevada's 17 counties reported greater sales in December. Increases were noted in the sales of vehicles and parts, bars and restaurants, accommodations, and clothing and accessories.
Clark County, in southern Nevada, had taxable sales of $3.1 billion in December, an increase of 6 percent from the same month in 2011.. In northern Nevada's largest county, Washoe, sales totaled $552 million, down 4.7 percent.