Douglas economy strong despite scary weather |

Douglas economy strong despite scary weather

Staff Reports

Douglas County manufacturers threw a lifeline to the county’s sales tax collections during February, when flooding, windstorms and Internet outages slowed down many county merchants.

The county’s industrial sector tripled its taxable sales during February climbing 200 percent to $8 million, up from $2.6 million last year, according to figures released by the Nevada Department of Taxation on Tuesday.

Merchant wholesalers of durable goods were up 49 percent for the fiscal year bringing in $34.6 million.

County merchants saw an 11.3 percent increase in taxable sales compared to February 2016. The month’s taxable sales hit $52.8 million, up from $47.4 million the previous year.

Repairs from weather damage contributed to a 29 percent increase in sales from building material, garden equipment and supplies stores during February, bringing in $2.49 million from stores like Meeks and Home Depot.

Food services and drinking places, heavily influenced by the Stateline casinos, brought in $11.8 million during the month, down 6.9 percent. Revenues in the category so far this fiscal year have remained essentially flat, mirroring last year’s average snow year.

General merchandise stores, including Douglas County’s two Walmarts and the Target, were down 4 percent to $6.6 million.

Food and beverage stores saw a 15 percent increase to $3 million during the month.

County merchants collected $823,464 in taxes during the month. Because Douglas County’s tax revenues are guaranteed by the state, it received $1.2 million from the state. Douglas is one of eight Nevada counties that receives more in sales tax revenue than it raises on its own.

Douglas jobless numbers for March also showed an improvement, with an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

According to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, 21,872 of the county’s workers were employed. Only 1,087 workers were on the unemployment rolls during the month of March.

That figure does not include workers whose benefits have run out or who’ve stopped reporting they’re looking for work.

March also saw a slight dip in revenue for the casino’s at Stateline, according to the Gaming Control Board.

The main source of Douglas County’s gaming revenue, the Stateline casinos brought in $16.7 million during March, down 2.3 percent from the same month in 2016.

For the year as a whole, Stateline benefitted from a strong ski season, with the casinos reporting 5.45 percent increase over last year to $171.4 million.

Gaming revenues for casinos in the East Fork Township and Carson City were up slightly to 1.47 percent.