January 15, 2010

Taxable sales slowed but on track

Taxable sales slowed but on track
Tax Commissioner Cory Fong last week issued a report that reflects a slowing in taxable sales and purchases for North Dakota during the third quarter, 2009, which includes the months of July, August and September. While the report reflects a decrease of 10.7 percent, or $368.5 million, compared to the same quarter in 2008, taxable sales and purchases are up over 2007 statistics.
“Our state experienced a record-setting year in 2008 for taxable sales and purchases in North Dakota. This level of growth was not sustainable,” Fong said. “However, comparing the 2009 report to 2007, you will see that spending levels are right on track, underscoring that North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases have remained on a steady growth pattern for quite some time.”
Compared to the third quarter 2007, the 2009 report shows growth of 14.1 percent or $379.8 million over the two-year period.
A significant change occurred in this quarter relative to the exemption from sales tax of natural gas used for heating and industrial purposes. Effective July 1, 2009, all natural gas sold in the state became exempt from sales and use taxes. This change in the taxable base accounted for one-third of the overall drop in sales from the third quarter of 2008, when natural gas was subject to a 1 percent statewide sales tax.

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