Nevada – Economic shutdown wiped out sales tax gains in Nevada

The economic shutdown in March wiped out eight months of gains in taxable sales.

Legislative Counsel Bureau economist Russ Guindon said taxable sales were up 6.1 percent — $481 million — from July 1 through February of this fiscal year.

Then came the order to close all non-essential businesses.

“In two weeks of one month, the decrease swamped that increase we accumulated over eight months,” he said. “The decline in March alone was $525 million.”

The Sales and Use tax is the largest source of revenue flowing to the state General Fund.

Guindon said food services and drinks — including sales in Nevada’s resorts — account for nearly 20 percent of statewide taxable sales. Another key contributor to the total taxable sales is auto sales, which, in Carson City, is by far the biggest source of taxable sales.

In addition to funding state government, the sales tax is a key portion of school district and local government funding.

One tax is doing exceptionally well in large part because of the economic shutdown — Non-store Retailers. Guindon said the vast majority of that revenue comes from the online sales. That tax stream has been increasing since a court decision saying those sellers must pay state sales and use taxes.( WAYFAIR)

Those receipts increased 95-100 percent from October through February and are up 82 percent for the past eight months. With the shutdown, far more people are shopping online now, many even buying food through the Internet.

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Nevada Appeal 
By Geoff Dornan
June 11, 2020