January 5, 2011

City’s taxable sales up 55 percent in third quarter

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

After posting a very vigorous  45.96 percent increase in taxable sales and purchases in the second quarter of 2010, the third quarter of this past year was even better.
And much of the credit to the continued economic growth in Watford City and throughout Mckenzie County is directly tied to continued development of the Bakken and Three Forks oil and natural gas formations.
According to figures released by the office of the North Dakota Tax Commissioner, Watford City’s taxable sales and purchases in the third quarter of 2010 were up 55.32 percent from the same period in 2009. During the months of July, August and September, the city had taxable sales and purchases of $20,287,089 compared to $13,061,495 during the same three month period in 2009.
McKenzie County’s taxable sales and purchases in the third quarter of 2010 were up 54 percent, growing from $14,538,290 in 2009 to $22,388,853 in 2010.
Statewide, according to Cory Fong, North Dakota Tax Commissioner, taxable sales and purchases were were $3.947 billion, up $863 million or 28 percent compared to the third quarter 2009.
“This is a positive report for North Dakota showing continued growth across the state and across most industry sectors for the third quarter,” said Fong. “North Dakota’s retail trade continued to show strength, and our businesses continue investing and building up inventory levels, in contrast to the national reports of a slow economic recovery.”
Retail trade, the sector often looked to as a measurement of consumer confidence, reported a gain of 7.7 percent compared to the same period for 2009. Inflation during the same time was 1.2 percent.
Thirteen of fifteen industry sectors reported growth during the third quarter of 2010. Compared to third quarter 2009, the wholesale trade sector had the largest growth in terms of dollars, growing $333 million, while the mining and oil extraction sector experienced the largest percentage of growth, increasing by 193.7 percent.
“North Dakota continues to see real growth in most of our industry sectors, even in the midst of a sluggish national economy that continues to affect most other states,” said Fong. “And, early reports from our retail industry point to a level of optimism among consumers as they make their final purchases during the all-important year-end Christmas shopping season.” 
Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for third quarter of 2010 were Tioga, up 185.6 percent; Williston, up 150.9 percent; Lincoln, up 89 percent; New Town, up 84.6 percent; and Stanley, 56.7 percent.
Of the 50 largest cities, the largest percentage decreases for the third quarter were Cavalier, down 40.7 percent; Park River, down 22.3 percent; Ellendale, down 20.8 percent; Cando down 16.9 percent; and Walhalla, down 10.1 percent.
Counties with the highest percentage increases were Williams, up 155.2 percent; Burke, up 139.9 percent; Mountrail, up 69 percent; McKenzie, up 54 percent; and Dunn, up 52 percent. 
The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Pembina, down 25.5 percent; Towner, down 13.2 percent; Traill, down 12.7 percent; Griggs, down 11.5 percent; and Grant, down 8.6 percent.