Growth: First-quarter taxable sales, purchases up 14.5 percentNorth Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases for the first quarter of 2012 are up more than 52 percent statewide from 2011, according to a report released Wednesday by the North Dakota Tax Commissioner’s Office. “This report shows that the growth and strength of the economy is across the entire state in almost all of the industry sectors,” said Cory Fong, state tax commissioner.
By: Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun
North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases for the first quarter of 2012 are up more than 52 percent statewide from 2011, according to a report released Wednesday by the North Dakota Tax Commissioner’s Office.
“This report shows that the growth and strength of the economy is across the entire state in almost all of the industry sectors,” said Cory Fong, state tax commissioner.
While some of the largest growth has come from counties such as Williams, Billings and McKenzie in the western part of the state, south central counties such as Stutsman, LaMoure and Barnes have shown double-digit percentage growth as well.
“We’re not just seeing significant growth out west,” Fong said. “These double-digit increases out east in a normal time without the oil boom would be considered off-the-charts kinds of growth.”
Stutsman County, for example, increased 14.5 percent in January, February and March 2012 in terms of total taxable sales and purchases from the same three months in 2011. The report shows that Stutsman County totals jumped from $48.1 million to $55.1 million.
“For Jamestown, you’re seeing significant growth out there,” Fong said. “Construction was up 63 percent and manufacturing was up 65 percent — both extremely healthy totals.”
Fong said some of that could be attributed to a mild winter that made it much easier on construction and manufacturing companies to complete their work without too many weather disruptions.
Only six counties and four of the state’s 50 largest cities in the state experienced negative growth, according to the report.
The data is an indication of how strong of an economy North Dakota currently has and looks to continue having, according to Andy Peterson, president of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re doing things right in North Dakota; otherwise our numbers wouldn’t be up like they are,” he said.
Jamestown and Valley City reported increases of 14.4 and 15.7 percent, respectively.
Some smaller towns in the area experienced even larger growth.
For instance, Oakes increased 30.7 percent, up from $4.3 million in 2011 to $5.6 million in 2012.
Lisbon showed an increase of 20.6 percent, up from $6.6 million in 2011 to $8 million in 2012.
Peterson said that while they are sometimes overlooked in terms of economic growth, the central and eastern parts of the state are thriving as well.
“You look at some of the driving factors of these increases — agriculture and energy overall — and it shows that we’ve clearly created an environment for thriving business and an environment that creates jobs,” he said.
The report indicated that 14 of 15 industries have seen increases as well — all nearly 10 percent or higher, including construction which was up 113 percent.
“In the Jamestown and Valley City area, agriculture and agricultural manufacturing are strong,” Peterson said. “It’s not all about oil in this state. We’re very fortunate with the oil production that we have, but we’re only 20 percent about oil in terms of our overall economy.”
The educational, health care and social services industry was the only one to show negative growth.
The full report is available at the North Dakota Tax Commissioner’s Office website at www.nd.gov/tax.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org