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Nevada’s economy producing more than predicted in taxes this year

CARSON CITY — Spawned by growth in real estate sales and live entertainment shows on the Strip, the state economy has so far this year produced about $47 million more in taxes than predicted by the Economic Forum.

Legislative analysts presented figures Friday that show in the fiscal year ending June 30 the economy created $3.133 billion in taxes, or $46 million more than the forum estimated May 1. And between July and October, the economy produced $898 million in taxes, or $1.3 million more than the forum’s earlier estimates.

The forum’s estimates are crucial for state government. By law they are binding on Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Legislature in creating the state budget. The forum of five private business leaders was created in the early 1990s largely because legislators and governors often made tax revenue projections that were widely over-optimistic.

The meeting of the Economic Forum, teleconferenced between Las Vegas and Carson City, was designed to bring members up to date on what has happened with the economy since their May meeting.

The reports released Friday show that since July gaming revenues have been about $9 million less than projections, but that decline was more than offset by a $4.3 million climb over projections in the taxes from real estate sales and a $6 million increase over estimates in live entertainment taxes.

Home prices in Las Vegas were up 35 percent this year as of August, according to a report by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

Legislative fiscal analyst Russell Guindon said that the live entertainment tax revenue growth shows “the industry is doing a better job of getting the shows and getting people to come.”

While gaming projections were down and sales taxes were off by $1.6 million, forum Chairman Ken Wiles noted that overall his estimate missed by just one-tenth of one percent of predicting accurately state revenue for this point of the year.

“I think that is within the margin of error,” Wiles quipped.
Neither he or other members expressed concern about the slump in gaming and sales tax revenue. Wiles noted the gaming and other revenue can fluctuate widely month to month.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com, or 775-687-3901. Follow him on Twitter @edisonvogel.

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