Taxable sales and purchases rise in cityWhile not as robust as the statewide increase of nearly 42 percent, Jamestown saw about a $4.5 million spike in taxable sales and purchases from the second quarter of 2011 to the same time in 2012. This according to a report released Wednesday by the North Dakota Tax Commissioner’s Office.
By: By Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
While not as robust as the statewide increase of nearly 42 percent, Jamestown saw about a $4.5 million spike in taxable sales and purchases from the second quarter of 2011 to the same time in 2012.
This according to a report released Wednesday by the North Dakota Tax Commissioner’s Office.
The increase for Jamestown is about 7 percent overall from April through June of 2011 to the same months in 2012, jumping from $63.6 million to $68.1 million in total taxable sales and purchases.
Positive signs for Jamestown
The increase is a sign of an improved quality of life in Jamestown, according to Mayor Katie Andersen.
“It’s the result of a number of good things happening here — great employment as well as the opportunity to take advantage of the economy that’s happening around Jamestown,” she said.
Those opportunities include connections to the western part of the state, but Andersen said Stutsman County businesses are still spending their dollars locally.
“Because of development that’s taking place out there, businesses like truck companies and manufacturers especially have been able to expand and grow, but they’re still purchasing their supplies right here in Jamestown and Stutsman County,” she said.
Not only limited to business, general consumer confidence is high as well, according to Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kimberly Saxberg.
“With consumer confidence, optimism and growth in general, momentum continues to build here,” she said. “Despite continuing national economic uncertainty, North Dakota consumers are optimistic and have that high level of confidence due to the fact unemployment remains low, salaries are increasing and economic conditions are strong.”
The prospect of a proposed $1.2 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant in Spiritwood, N.D., about 10 miles east of Jamestown, is a good sign for future taxable sales and purchases totals in the area also, Saxberg said.
“Looking forward, I believe we are just starting to see the start of major taxable sales increases,” she said. “The agriculture industry remains No. 1 in the state and (the plant) would provide the region’s farmers with enhanced supplies of crop nutrients and will bring construction workers and full-time positions to the area.”
However, just as economic development continues and consumer confidence grows, it’s important to be mindful of what’s ahead, said Andy Peterson, president of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce.
“North Dakota will continue to march forward, but our biggest threats would come if, after the election, Washington (D.C.) can’t get its act together as well as the European economy,” he said. “We wouldn’t be affected nearly to the degree of states like Minnesota or Michigan, but as much consumer confidence as we have at the moment, we should always have our eye to the horizon looking at what’s to come.”
Other south-central North Dakota cities that showed notable increases were Ellendale at 10.1 percent, Linton at 16.3 percent, Lisbon at 22.2 percent and Oakes at 16 percent.
On the other end of the spectrum, some south-central cities such as Ashley, Cooperstown, Valley City and Wishek all saw a decrease in taxable sales and purchases.
However, of the nine counties listed in the state classification of South Central Region VI —Barnes, Dickey, Foster, Griggs, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Stutsman and Wells — only three (Barnes, Griggs and McIntosh) saw negative growth.
Peterson said that the south-central region is doing well not only because of its own efforts to develop its local economy, but a direct result of the booming economy statewide.
“Areas from Wahpeton to Williston and from Bismarck to Jamestown will all do well when the entire state is doing as well as it is now,” he said. “When you put all of that success together, that’s when you see increased sales. When people have jobs and the prospect of continuing jobs, it lends itself to consumer confidence and people opening up their wallets for new cars, new furniture, new electronics, etc.”
North Dakota, as a whole, saw a nearly $1.9 billion increase in taxable sales and purchases, up from $4.5 billion in the second quarter of 2011 to $6.4 billion in 2012. Fourteen of the 15 industry sectors reported statewide showed positive growth as well, with utilities the only sector with a negative change.
However, the nearly 42 percent increase was not as large as the spike the state witnessed in the first quarter of 2012 from the previous year, which was more than 52 percent.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org