Taxable sales nose dive
By Neal A. Shipman
The 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 resulted in nearly a $57.6 million drop in taxable sales and purchases in Watford City in the second quarter of 2020 when compared to the same three-month period in 2019, according to the latest data from the North Dakota Tax Department.
In the second quarter of 2019, Watford City posted a record $95,401,917 in taxable sales and purchases. But those sales numbers would plummet by 60.34 percent to $37,840,857 in the second quarter of this year to lead the state in the percentage of decline in the quarter.
McKenzie County’s taxable sales and purchases, which mirror that of Watford City, fell from $107,355,414 in the second quarter of 2019 to $45,043,645, a 58 percent drop, in the same three-month period this year.
Watford City’s and McKenzie County’s taxable sales and purchases have been on a steady increase since 2016 when the city posted $34,757,018 in taxable sales.
Other cities in the state’s oil patch also saw significant drops in this year’s second quarter sales with Williston showing a drop of 49.3 percent, followed by Stanley, down 40.4 percent; Tioga, down 39.8 percent; and New Town, down 39.7 percent.