Taxable spending jumps in N.D.BISMARCK — North Dakota officials said today that they’re happy to see spending on taxable purchases in April, May and June jump 21.4 percent compared to the same time last year, but they quickly sounded a cautionary note, too.
By: Janell Cole, N.D. Capitol Bureau
BISMARCK — North Dakota officials said today that they’re happy to see spending on taxable purchases in April, May and June jump 21.4 percent compared to the same time last year, but they quickly sounded a cautionary note, too.
The state Tax Department released its analysis of second quarter taxable sales and purchases this morning. They totaled $3.1 billion, compared with 2.5 billion in the same three months last year.
The oil boom in the western part of the state drove some of the leap, but Tax Commissioner Cory Fong noted that robust spending was statewide for the quarter.
Of the state’s 50 largest cities, only four—Cavalier, Larimore, Linton and Rolla—did not have increases. The cities were led by the oil patch town of Stanley, with 155 percent growth.
The five biggest cities’ results were: Fargo, up 8.9 percent; Grand Forks, up 8 percent; Bismarck, up 8.5 percent; Minot, up 18.2 percent, and Williston, 79.8 percent.
Three oil boom counties registered triple-digit increases: Burke, up 286 percent; Mountrail 117.5 percent and Renville, 121 percent. Williams County, the center of the North Dakota oil patch for 57 years, had an 82.6 percent increase buying, but that was less than Walsh County in the Red River Valley, with 89 percent.
This was the 21st consecutive quarter in which taxable sales and purchases rose compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Fong said.
He’s cautious about what to expect in sales in the second half of the year, noting that the second quarter ended before the national financial industry crisis blew up, the stock market took a big dive, and the price per barrel of oil dropped by more than half. Farm commodity prices have also gone down. Some or all those factors could drive down spending, he said.