Taxable sales down 52 percent in third quarter
By Neal A. Shipman
The economic impacts of the slowdown in oil activity and the loss of employees working in the oil and gas industry, as well as the impacts of COVID-19 continue to be felt in Watford City and McKenzie County according to the latest taxable sales and purchases data from the North Dakota Tax Department.
During the third quarter of 2020, Watford City’s and McKenzie County’s taxable sales plummeted just over 52 percent from the same three-month period in 2019.
In the third quarter of 2019, Watford City posted sales of $90,802,331. But those sales numbers would plummet to $42,529,971, a decline of $48,272,360, when compared to the same three-month period in 2019.
McKenzie County’s taxable sales and purchases, which mirror that of Watford City, fell from $105,675,605 in the third quarter of 2019 to $50,777,178 this year, a decline of $54,898,427.
Watford City’s and McKenzie County’s taxable sales and purchases had been on a steady increase since 2016, when the city posted $34,757,018 in taxable sales.
Statewide, Ryan Rauschenberger, state tax commissioner, says that North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases for the third quarter of 2020 are down 19.5 percent compared to the same timeframe in 2019. Taxable sales and purchases for July, August, and September of 2020 were $4.72 billion.