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ND tax commissioner says taxable sales figures leveling off

“The Pioneer Family” stands in front of the North Dakota State Capitol on July 14, 2016, in Bismarck. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

BISMARCK—Taxable sales and purchases in North Dakota have begun to "level off," the state's tax commissioner said Thursday, June 29.

Taxable sales and purchases totaled almost $3.69 billion in the first quarter of this year, a 5 percent drop from the same time period a year ago.

"For the past two years, taxable sales and purchases have seen quarterly declines in the double-digits," Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said in a statement. "Having a drop of just 5 percent brings us much closer to the new normal we've been anticipating."

North Dakota's economy has sputtered in recent years due to lower oil and farm commodity prices. But Rauschenberger said the retail trade sector is "showing a much smaller decline" than the past couple of years.

"I consider that a good sign since the retail sector is considered a measure of consumer confidence," he said.

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