June 5, 2013

County’s taxable sales up nearly 56%

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Watford City’s taxable sales and purchases grew by nearly $67 million from 2011 to 2012 making it the 12th largest city in the state in terms of sales according to figures released by the office of the North Dakota Tax Commissioner.
During the past year, McKenzie County and Watford City, which is in the heart of the rush to develop the Bakken and Three Forks oil formations, the city saw its sales jump by 57.31 percent, while McKenzie County’s taxable sales grew by nearly 56 percent in 2012.
According to the recent report by North Dakota Tax Commissioner Cory Fong, Watford City’s taxable sales and purchases totalled $185,751.40 in 2012 compared to $118,078,98 in 2011. During the past year, McKenzie County’s taxable sales and purchases totalled $210,635,270 compared to $135,097,349 during 2011, an increase of 55.91 percent.
According to Fond, the reports for the fourth quarter of 2011 as well as the calendar year report showed record growth in the state’s 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.”
Fourteen of fifteen industries reported growth for the year 2011.  Mining and oil extraction was up by 98.4 percent; financial, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing was up by 95.4 percent; transportation and warehousing, up by 83.1 percent; wholesale trade, increased by 50 percent; construction grew by 42.7 percent; manufacturing was up 39.7 percent; accommodation and food services, up by 15.5 percent; retail trade, increased 14.4 percent; professional, scientific, technical, and management services, up 5.3 percent; arts, entertainment, and recreation was up 5 percent; utilities was up 1.5 percent; information industries, was up 1.4 percent, other services, up 34.4 percent; and miscellaneous was up 101.4 percent.
The four major population centers (Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot) reported growth ranging from eight percent in Grand Forks to 39.7 percent in Minot. These four cities increased taxable sales and purchases by $6.582 billion 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.
During the fourth quarter of 2011, Billings County led all counties 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.