Sometimes its better to receive
Douglas County and sales tax revenues have had a long, confusing and checkered history.
For instance, last fiscal year ending on June 30 saw county merchants bring in $653 million, up from $599 million the previous year. Yay!
According to the state, Douglas brought in $1 million a month in sales tax revenues, but received $1.16 million a month from the state. That’s because Douglas County is one of nine counties whose sales tax revenues are guaranteed by the other eight.
Clark, Washoe and Elko counties are the three largest sales tax collectors. Carson City comes in fourth on that list. When it comes to guaranteed counties, Douglas raises the most in sales taxes.
Douglas County comes with in 13 percent of the total, though that comes to $156,000. Some of the poorer counties in the state receive as much as four times what they take in, but it’s just not that much money.
The development at Topsy Lane can be directly attributed to Nevada’s sales tax structure. In the early 1990s, Clark County lawmakers argued that they shouldn’t have to support the rest of the state. That redistribution put a fright in many of the counties that were receiving tax dollars and started the competition between Douglas and Carson for sales tax generators like Costco and Walmart.
It looked for a bit there around 2006 like Douglas County might join the ranks of other counties. That’s when county merchants sold $818 million in taxable goods.
We still haven’t entirely recovered from the Great Recession a decade later, which is why that safety net provided by the state turned out to be a good thing.