County’s taxable sales, purchases continue decline

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger this week released the 2016 first quarter taxable sales and purchases report, showing a continued decline in sales and purchases for Adams County.
Taxable sales and purchases for the whole state were $3.89 billion for January, February and March 2016, a drop of 33 percent over those months in 2015.

By BRYCE MARTIN
N.D. Group Editor

“The first quarter decrease is a direct result of the continued downturn in the oil industry and low ag commodity prices,” said Rauschenberger.  “Fundamentally North Dakota is just returning to a pre-oil boom economy. First quarter 2016 is nearly 50 percent greater than the same timeframe in 2010.”
Rauschenberger went on to explain that $3.9 billion is closer to what the normal taxable sales and purchases were prior to just five years ago.
Compared with most of North Dakota, Adams County and its cities aren’t seeing as large of a decline in the first quarter. The first-quarter taxable sales made within Adams County stayed relatively the same since 2015, totaling $4.57 million.
Combined taxable sales and purchases decreased, however, by about 8.5 percent, from $5.26 million to $4.81 million.
The first quarter report includes data for the largest 50 cities in North Dakota, and all 53 counties. Of the 50 largest cities in North Dakota, the highest percent increases compared to the first quarter of 2015 were Beulah, Ashley, Ellendale, Beach and Jamestown. Counties with the highest percent increases compared with the first quarter of 2015 were McHenry, Sargent, Benson, Mercer and Sioux.
Three of the 15 major industry sectors reported taxable sales and purchases gains when compared to the first quarter a year ago. The most notable increase was in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector — an increase of 44 percent or $6.9 million — and the most notable decline was in the mining and oil extraction sector — a decrease of 66.5 percent or $716 million.