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County’s taxable sales up 18 percent first quarter of 2010

Posted 7/21/10 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Thanks to continued growth in the energy sector, taxable sales in McKenzie County and Watford City continued to grow at a double digit clip in the first quarter of 2010 according to the figures released by the office of the North Dakota Tax Commissioner.
According to the recent report by North Dakota Tax Commissioner Cory Fong, McKenzie County’s taxable sales and purchases during the first three months of 2010 totalled $12,153,635, an increase of 18.49 percent compared to $10,256,953 during the same period in 2009.
Watford City’s taxable sales and purchases during the months of January, February and March of 2010 were up $11,103,947 compared to $9,286,838 in 2009, an increase of 19.57 percent.
North Dakota’s economy, according to Fong, expanded at a moderate pace during the first quarter of 2010, which includes January, February, and March. According to the economic report, North Dakota’s first quarter total taxable sales and purchases were $2.607 billion, up $67 million from the first quarter 2009, for an increase of 2.65 percent.
“This is a good report, highlighting the fact that North Dakota’s economy strengthened compared to the same quarter in 2009,” said Fong. “It is very encouraging, especially since it came during a time of continued uncertainty and weakening in most other states’ economies.”
The construction sector showed the most growth, percentage-wise, rising 16 percent compared to the same quarter 2009. The retail trade sector, the sector most often looked to as a measure of consumer confidence, grew the most in dollars, growing $71 million.
“North Dakota has shown a resistance to the recession which was due in part to stability in several sectors, such as construction, retail and wholesale trade, as well as the expansion of oil drilling activity,” Fong said.
Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for the first quarter of 2010 were Bowman, 64.8 percent; Washburn, up 36.3 percent; Langdon, up 37.7 percent; Lincoln, up by 33.3 percent; and Stanley, up 33 percent. 
The biggest percentage first quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities were Northwood, down 26.5 percent; Crosby, down 15.1 percent; Linton, down 9.5 percent; Kenmare, down 3.8 percent; and Walhalla, down 0.8 percent.
Counties with the highest percentage increases were Renville, up 86.5 percent; Billings, up 74.8 percent; Grant, up 72.6 percent; Bowman, up 62.9 percent; and Cavalier, up 37.3 percent.
The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Burke, down 31.9 percent; Slope, down 25 percent, Benson, down 17.1 percent; Divide, down 13.5 percent; and McHenry, down 10 percent.