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600 E. Boulevard Ave.
  Bismarck, ND 58505-0599
  701.328.7088 phone
  701.328.3700 fax
  877.328.7088 toll-free
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rick Clayburgh, Tax Commissioner 701-328-2770
April 3, 2003 Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701-328-3402

2002 4th Quarter Taxable Sales and Purchases Dip

BISMARCK --- Taxable sales and purchases dipped by just over three percent during the months of October, November, and December, Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh announced today.

The total taxable sales and purchases for all industry sectors was just under $1.9 billion for the fourth quarter, a decrease of 3.2 percent compared to the same quarter in 2001. Of this amount, the mining and oil extraction sector helped offset declines in other sectors by reporting $16.2 million for a 20.8 percent increase compared to the same quarter in 2001.

"If the sales of used farm machinery and repair parts had been exempt in both quarters, the decline would have been less than one-half of one percent," said Commissioner Clayburgh. A sales tax exemption for used farm machinery and repair parts went into effect on July 1, 2002.

"The good news is that our retailers saw a relatively stable fourth quarter," said Commissioner Clayburgh, "even with concerns over weather, Wall Street, and a military build-up in the Middle East."

In addition to the mining and oil extraction sector, the services industry increased by 1.5 percent, and retail trade remained relatively stable, with a slight increase of .8 percent.

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases in the last quarter of 2002 were Walhalla up 8.1 percent; Mandan up 3.3 percent; Grafton up 2.7 percent; West Fargo up 2 percent; and New Town up 1.3 percent.

The biggest percentage fourth quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities, were in Beach down 60.5 percent; Northwood down 34.6 percent; Wishek down 30.4 percent; Stanley down 29.5 percent; and Ashley down 27.2 percent.

Counties experiencing the highest percentage fourth quarter increases were Sioux up 39.3 percent; Burke up 6.3 percent; Kidder up 2.7 percent; Grand Forks up 1.8 percent; and Morton up 1.5 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage of decrease were Golden Valley down 58.6 percent; Dunn down 38.6 percent; Grant down 38.2 percent; Traill down 35.1 percent; and Nelson down 33.2 percent.

Complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports can be accessed on our Web site at: www.nd.gov/tax

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