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Watford City’s taxable sales skyrocket

Posted 10/06/10 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

To say that the economy in Watford City and throughout McKenzie County was brisk in the second quarter of this year would be an understatement. Booming would be the more appropriate way to describe the economy thanks to a very robust oil industry.
According to figures released by the office of the North Dakota Tax Commissioner, Watford City’s taxable sales and purchases in the second quarter of 2010 were up 45.96 percent from the same period in 2009. During the months of April, May and June, the city had taxable sales and purchases of $17,153,105 compared to $11,751,898 during the same three month period in 2009.
McKenzie County’s taxable sales and purchases in the second quarter of 2010 were up 50.76 percent, growing from $12,685,939 in 2009 to $19,125,207 in 2010.
Statewide, according to Cory Fong, North Dakota Tax Commissioner, taxable sales and purchases were up 14.6 percent in the second quarter of 2010.
“This shows that North Dakota’s economy is continuing to grow,” said Fong. “These figures are very encouraging, especially when you consider the continued impact of the national economic recession on the majority of the states.”
Comparing the second quarter 2010 to second quarter 2009, the growth was fueled by the mining and oil extraction sector, which grew 98 percent. 
“A strong and robust energy sector has been a key player in powering our state economy and lifting revenues,” said Fong. “And it has fueled the local economies throughout the western half of the state, filling hotels, motels, not to mention the cash registers for the local retailers, and creating demand for housing.”
“The retail trade sector typically gives a pretty good snapshot of what is going on with consumers and businesses,” said Fong. “Even though nationally consumer confidence is wavering, North Dakota continues to buck that trend as our retail trade sector grew at nearly seven percent and it came during a time of very little inflation.”
“We continue to look for ways in which the state can help strengthen and support our local communities and to strengthen consumers’ confidence in our state’s economy,” said Fong.  “To that end, our focus remains on job creation and offering certainty for North Dakota’s businesses and consumers, especially in the area of sustaining the broad-based tax relief that’s been delivered during recent years.” 
Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for second quarter 2010 were Tioga, up 174 percent; Williston, up 87.5 percent; Lincoln, up 47.2 percent; Watford City, up 46 percent; and Bowman, up 31.7 percent.
Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage of decreases during the second quarter 2010 were Casselton, down 34.6 percent; Park River, down 32.1 percent; Hillsboro, down 22.9 percent; Northwood, down 21 percent; and Cooperstown, down 19 percent.
Counties with the highest percentage increases were Burke County, up 110.2 percent; Williams County, up 97.8 percent; McKenzie County, up 50.8 percent; Stark County, up 31.8 percent; and Bowman County, up 29.3 percent. 
The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Logan County, down 34.3 percent; Oliver County, down 26.1 percent; Grant County, down 16.8 percent; Griggs County, down 16.3 percent; and Emmons County, down 13 percent.