New Town sales buck regional trend
By Jerry W. Kram
Taxable sales and purchases in New Town were up nearly 50 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the year before, bucking a regional downward trend caused by the collapse of oil prices and the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full impact of those twin crises will be fully reflected in the second quarter tax report that will be issued in October.
Sales and purchases in New Town increased from $22.1 million in 2019 to $32.9 million. New Town and Watford City, which saw an increase in sales of about 4.4 percent, were among the few cities in the region to see growth over last year. Stanley, Tioga, Garrison, and Williston all saw declines in sales ranging from 9.8 percent to 21.4 percent.
The growth in New Town helped Mountrail County have one of the smallest declines in sales in northwest North Dakota, a drop of 1.2 percent. Ward and McKenzie counties also had small declines but Williams and McLean Counties both had double digit decreases.