April 16, 2010

Taxable sales and purchases jump

Taxable sales and purchases jump
New Town, Parshall, Stanley share in increase

Taxable sales and purchases increased in three of Mountrail County’s five principal communities with New Town leading the way in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Taxable sales and purchases grew nearly 26 percent in the last three months of last year over the fourth quarter in 2008. The increase is attributed to increased oil traffic and increased sales from local stores and service centers.
In addition, Stanley and Parshall also increased taxable sales and purchases. Stanley’s increase was 17.6 percent and Parshall’s was 5.84 percent.
Plaza and Ross both saw decreases. Plaza was down nearly 9 percent, while taxable sales and purchases were off in Ross by 80 percent. Taxable sales and purchases in Ross were $253,613, compared to $1,249,036 in 2008, which was mostly farm machinery and construction supplies.
Plaza actually outpaced Ross in the fourth quarter. Plaza recorded $329,839 in sales and purchases compared to $360,753 a year ago.
Modest fourth-quarter losses aren’t unusual across the state, according to tax commissioner Cory Fong. He said it will generally be hard to replace robust activity that was experienced in 2008.
“North Dakota experienced a record-setting year for taxable sales and purchases in 2008, and that level of growth was not sustainable,” Fong said. “When we compare 2009 to 2007, which is a more typical year, fourth quarter spending levels were strong and indicate that North Dakota’s economy remains on track.”
New Town’s growth continues to show stability in the region, according to Fong and although most of it can be attributed to oil activity, there are other elements of the economy that contribute to the growth including farming and ranching, recreation on Lake Sakakawea and entertainment.

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