Posted 10/09/13 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
While North Dakota as a whole saw taxable sales and purchases take a small dip during the second quarter of 2013, that same slowdown was not happening in McKenzie County nor in Watford City.
According to figures released by the office of the North Dakota Tax Commissioner, during the second quarter of 2013, Watford City saw sales increase by 2.12 percent, while countywide sales numbers increased by 4.89 percent.
According to Tax Commissioner Cory Fong, during the months of April, May and June of 2013, Watford City’s taxable sales and purchases totalled $51,347,106 compared to $50,282,767 during the same time period in 2012.
As a whole, McKenzie County’s taxable sales and purchases increased from $57,566,949 to $60,381,711, a 4.89 percent increase, in the second quarter of this year.
Watford City’s sales numbers in the second quarter of 2013 make it the 11th largest city in the state in terms of taxable sales and purchases and ahead of Devils Lake ($45,757,922), Wahpeton ($30,686,671), and Valley City ($22,890,261).
McKenzie County’s taxable sales numbers make it the 10th largest of the state’s 52 counties.
While the continued strength of oil development continues to spur the economic growth in much of western North Dakota, the remainder of North Dakota saw an overall slowing in sales.
Statewide, according to the new quarterly numbers, North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases in the second quarter of 2013 was $6.293 billion compared to $6.451 billion for the same quarter in 2012. The slowdown reflects a drop of 2.4 percent, or $157.3 million, comparing 2013 to 2012 for the same quarter.
“While this report reflects a slowing when compared to 2012, it is still a good report. The late spring blizzard and excessive rains hampered certain industries; however, the retail and wholesale trade sectors grew, suggesting that consumer confidence remained strong even with an overall slowing in spending,” said Deputy Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger.
According to Rauschenberger, North Dakota experienced a record-setting year for taxable sales and purchases in 2012 and that level of growth was not sustainable.
“When we compare 2013 to 2011, spending levels grew by 39 percent, reflecting the strength of North Dakota’s economy,” states Rauschenberger.
Retail trade, the sector generally looked to as a measure of the economy, was up 1.9 percent during the second quarter of 2013 when compared to the same quarter in 2012. Wholesale trade, which reflects business-to-business transactions, was up 2.1 percent during that same timeframe.
“The mining sector dropped in the second quarter, suggesting that the rapid growth of energy development may be leveling off to a more sustainable pace,” said Rauschenberger. “In addition, the late spring and early wet summer affected activities in a number of sectors, such as mining and oil production.”
“The agricultural industry is an important sector for North Dakota and one on which we tend to rely,” states Rauschenberger. “During the second quarter, our producers dealt with late spring winter storms and excessive rains in May that hampered our agricultural producers getting into the fields. We continue to watch the agricultural industry, especially as the harvest wraps up.”
Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for the second quarter of 2013 were New Town, up 30.9 percent; Northwood, up 27.8 percent; Cooperstown, up 27.3 percent; Ellendale, up 27.2 percent; and Beach, up 26.3 percent.
The biggest percentage second quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities were in Tioga, down 28.2 percent; Cavalier, down 27.6 percent; Stanley, down 19.7 percent; Bottineau, down 13.5 percent; and Rugby, down 11.4 percent.
Counties with the highest percentage increases were Grant, up 70.9 percent; Richland, up 25 percent; Golden Valley, up 23.9 percent; Steele, up 22.4 percent; and Benson, up 22.2 percent.
The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Logan, down 25.4 percent; Burke, down 22.5 percent; Bottineau, down 22 percent; Pembina, down 19.5 percent; and Williams, down 13.7 percent.