Other counties posting declines were Churchill, Elko, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Pershing and White Pine. Most of those are rural counties in Nevada's mining regions, where the purchase of mammoth equipment often skews results in the monthly sales tax report.Statewide, sales at bars and restaurants rose 5.4 percent in December, and accommodations saw a 38.2 percent increase. Both of those categories are key indicators on the health of Nevada's vital tourism industry. Sales of vehicles and parts rose 10 percent, while clothing and accessories sales climbed nearly 6 percent. Telecommunications rose 38 percent and sales at food and beverage stores were up 7.3 percent. Nevada's battered construction industry as a whole saw a nearly 25 percent gain in sales activity, and sales registered by specialty trade contractors shot up 60 percent. Besides sales and use taxes, the taxation department said $99.6 million was collected for the state's Modified Business Tax, a payroll tax paid quarterly that is based on employee wages. The taxation department's report said those taxes for the first two quarters is up 0.15 percent, or about $286,000 above projections. Excise taxes â¿¿ a combination of levies imposed for liquor, tobacco, live entertainment and other minor revenue streams â¿¿ totaled nearly 109 million for December, an increase of 6.5 percent.