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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
Tuesday, May 17, 2005 Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701-328-3402

North Dakota Taxable Sales and Purchases Reach a Record $8 Billion in 2004

BISMARCK --- Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh released a key statistical report today that shows taxable sales and purchases for the year 2004 grew by 8.7 percent, exceeding $8 billion for the first time.

Retail trade, the largest of the industry categories in terms of dollars, contributed the most to the overall amount of growth, increasing by more than $257 million from 2003 or 6.5 percent.

“Consumer confidence held steady throughout the year, as is reflected by the growth in retail trade,” said Clayburgh. “In fact, North Dakota’s overall growth in taxable sales and purchases exceeded the rate of inflation.” The Consumer Price Index measurement of inflation for 2004 was 2.7 percent.

The mining and oil extraction sector grew by 67.4 percent in 2004 compared to 2003; the construction sector grew by 24 percent; wholesale trade grew by 12.1 percent; manufacturing grew by 10.4 percent; and the transportation, communications, and public utilities sector grew by 9.1 percent.

“Renewed activity in the oil field and updates in the power industry are reflected in the growth in the mining and oil extraction sector,” said Clayburgh. “Even though the oil itself is not subject to sales tax, sales tax does apply to non-durables, such as casings, drilling mud, and drill bits which indicates that the industry was gearing up for increased drilling and exploration. Similarly, some inputs used in coal mining and power production are subject to sales tax.”

Of the 200 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases in 2004 were: Page up 95.5 percent; Hope up 70.3 percent; Hunter up 70.1 percent; Kulm up 64.9 percent; and Cogswell up 53.7 percent. The biggest percentage decreases for the 200 largest cities were: Galesburg down 62 percent; Fordville down 38.4 percent; Buxton down 33.7 percent; Gladstone down 33.3 percent; and Starkweather down 28.4 percent.

Included in the annual report are statistics for each of the state’s 53 counties. Steele County led all counties with increases in 2004, with a 27.8 percent growth over 2003. McKenzie County was next, increasing by 25.2 percent; Golden Valley County was up 23.5 percent; McHenry County was up by 18.5 percent; and McLean County up by 16.3 percent. The counties registering the sharpest decline were Sheridan County with a drop of 4.6 percent; followed by Slope County down 4.2 percent; Towner County down 2.4 percent; Dunn County down 1.8 percent; and Pembina County down 1.4 percent.

The complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Report for 2004 is available on the Office of State Tax Commissioner’s website: www.nd.gov/tax/

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