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County’s taxable sales up nearly 73 percent

Posted 6/20/12 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Energy development continued to fuel Watford City’s and McKenzie County’s economic growth in 2011 as taxable sales and purchases in McKenzie County and Watford City grew by nearly 73 percent during the 2011 calendar year  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 calendar year 2011 totalled $135,665,369 compared to $78,694,815 during 2010, an increase of 72.39 percent.
Watford City’s taxable sales and purchases during 2011 were up 66.49 percent over 2010 sales increasing from $71,299,944 in 2010 to $118,709,563 in 2011.
According to North Dakota Tax Commissioner Cory Fong, the state had record growth in taxable sales and purchases. During the fourth quarter 2011, which includes the months of October, November, and December, North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases were $6.155 billion, up $2.014 billion or 48.6 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2010. For calendar year 2011, taxable sales and purchases were over $19 billion, growing 39 percent compared to 2010.
“During 2011, North Dakota’s economy continued to expand with statewide growth reported in all industry sectors except one,” said Fong.  
Retail trade, the largest sector in terms of dollars, grew by 14.4 percent when comparing 2011 to 2010, or more than four times the rate of inflation. The Consumer Price Index measurement of inflation for 2011 was 3.2 percent.
“Retail trade is the sector often looked to as a measurement of the consumer’s pocketbook,” said Fong.  “The growth in retail trade confirms that North Dakota consumer confidence remained strong throughout last year.”
The only sector reporting a decline was the educational, health care, and social services sector, which declined 5.4 percent.
The annual report includes statistics for the largest 200 cities in the state, of which 162 cities reported increases and 38 reported decreases compared to 2010.
The four major population centers of Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot reported growth ranging from eight percent in Grand Forks to 39.7 percent in Minot. These four cities reported taxable sales and purchases of $6.582 billion, an increase of $973 million over 2010.”  
Of the 200 cities, Ray led the growth of all cities with an increase of 635 percent growth over 2010. Frontier was next, increasing by 616.9 percent; Halliday was up 377.1 percent, Glenburn grew by 154.2 percent and Tioga was up 148.8 percent.  
Cities reporting the sharpest decline compared to 2011 include Reile’s Acres, down 63.2 percent, Davenport down 35.5 percent, Golden Valley down 35.3 percent, Gackle decreased 34.5 percent, and Willow City was down 33.5 percent.
Included in the fourth quarter report are statistics for each of the state’s 53 counties. Billings County led all counties with increases in October, November, and December 2011, with a 134.3 percent growth over 2010. Williams County was next, increasing by 104.8 percent; Mountrail County was up 104.4 percent; McKenzie County was up 76.8 percent, and Golden Valley County was up by 68 percent.
The counties recording the sharpest decline were Slope County with a drop of 36.8 percent; followed by Pembina County down 13.1 percent; Grant County down 6.4 percent; Traill County was down 3.8 percent; and Hettinger County was down 3.1 percent.
The North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports from Fourth Quarter 2011 and the complete 2011 Annual Statistical report are available on the Tax Department’s web site at:  www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/pubs/.