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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
September 26, 2003 Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701-328-3402

2nd Quarter Taxable Sales and Purchases Remain Stable

BISMARCK --- Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh released a key report today that indicates continued stability in taxable sales and purchases in North Dakota during the months of April, May and June. The report shows North Dakota's total taxable sales and purchases were $1.85 billion, up $8 million from the same period in 2002.

Commissioner Clayburgh said, "This is an optimistic report and a reflection of the benefits of having a diverse economy."

Mining and oil extraction numbers reflect an increase of over 17 percent, the transportation, communications and public utilities sector grew by 14.9 percent, the retail trade total grew by nearly 4 percent, and the services sector grew by 1.9 percent.

Three sectors reported a decline when compared to the second quarter of 2002. The wholesale trade sector dropped by 15 percent; the manufacturing sector dropped by 3.2 percent; and the construction sector slowed by 2.7 percent.

Of the sectors posting declines, the only significant drop was in the wholesale trade sector. Clayburgh attributed the drop to the exemption of used farm machinery granted by the 2001 Legislative Assembly. The exemption became effective in the third quarter of 2002 and Clayburgh said the exemption is a significant benefit to the farmers in the state.

"Had farm machinery been exempt in both quarters compared in this report, the overall statewide growth in taxable sales and purchases would have been 4.5%," said Clayburgh. "The used farm machinery exemption means that farmers didn't have to pay sales tax on nearly $60 million in sales of used equipment in this quarter alone."

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for second quarter of 2003 were Wahpeton, up 11.6 percent; Walhalla up 7.1 percent; Fargo, up 5.6 percent; New Town, up 5 percent; and West Fargo, up 4.9 percent.

The biggest percentage second quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities, were in Lisbon, down 40.9 percent; Northwood, down 38 percent; Washburn, down 33.3 percent; Wishek, down 25 percent; and Kenmare down 25 percent.

Counties with the highest percentage increases were Billings, up 13.5 percent; Sioux, up 12.8 percent; Richland, up 10.2 percent; Slope, up 5.2 percent; and Dunn, up 4.9 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Nelson, down 50.6 percent; Traill, down 44.9 percent; Sheridan, down 39 percent; Ransom, down 36.6 percent; and Logan down 31.3 percent.

Complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports from Second Quarter 2003 can be accessed on the web at: www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/pubs

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