Douglas County merchants closed out the holiday shopping season a little behind, likely due to the effects of inflation and maybe the weather.
According to the Nevada Department of Taxation, the county had $103.7 million in taxable sales during December, down from $109.1 million in 2021.
It was the second month in a row the county posted a decrease compared with the year before.
November was down 5.3 percent to $83.3 million.
The county is still 9.8 percent ahead on taxable sales at the close of the first half of the 2022-23, bringing in $586.9 million.
That’s important for the first time in decades, as this is the first year that Douglas must support itself using what revenue it earns within its boundaries. Prior to July 1, 2022, the county was guaranteed sales tax revenue from the state based on its population.
On Feb. 2, Douglas County commissioners re-established the economic stabilization fund with $1 million and the extraordinary maintenance fund with $3.56 million from greater than anticipated fund balance.
County Chief Financial Officer Terri Willoughby said economic stabilization funds weren’t replenished after being transferred out six years ago.
“Economic stabilization funds are established under best practices as a method of stabilizing county operations during economic downturns, or during natural disasters,” she said in a report to commissioners.
December saw a 3 percent drop in general merchandise stores which raised $14.8 million in taxable sales. Nonstore retailers, which reflect online shopping, brought in $11.4 million, a 6.6 percent increase over December 2022.
Food services and drinking places raised $11.2 million, up 7 percent from December 2021 and accommodations were up 21.2 percent to $4.4 million, reflecting an improved ski season at Lake Tahoe.
However, those skiers weren’t gambling with amusement, gambling and recreation down 19 percent to $1.69 million.
That’s also reflected in gaming numbers for December, which saw a 15.7 percent drop to $15.65 million compared to the previous year.
One category that saw a big decrease was wholesalers of durable goods dropped 33.5 percent during December with $8.9 million.
Specialty stores didn’t do particularly well during the month, with motor vehicle and parts dealers reporting a 56.9 percent decrease to $1.9 million, while home furnishings were down 12 percent and electronics and appliance stores were down a tenth.
The Stateline casinos pulled up a bit in January, according to figures released Tuesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board coming in at 1.77 percent with $17.36 million.
The casinos are ahead 22.24 percent with $160.5 million over the first seven months of the year.