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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: Cory Fong, Tax Commissioner, 701.328.2770
Tuesday, April 3, 2007 Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701.328.3402

Fong: 4th Quarter Reports Strong Taxable Sales & Purchases

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong announced today that fourth quarter 2006 taxable sales and purchases grew 5.05 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2005, marking the fifteenth consecutive quarter of growth. Taxable sales and purchases for October, November, and December totaled $2.530 billion, an increase of $122 million, over the same period in 2005.

“This sustained growth is due to North Dakota’s strong economy and steady tax base,” said Fong. “The five percent increase is nearly twice the rate of inflation.” Inflation for the same period was 2.6 percent.

Thirteen of fifteen industries reported growth during the fourth quarter of 2006. Retail trade, the largest sector, grew by 4.4 percent.

“The retail trade sector, the group that is often used as a measurement of the economy, continued to grow, reflecting the optimistic consumer outlook and strong Christmas sales,” said Fong.

The largest growth was in the mining and oil extraction sector, which reported growth of 31 percent compared to 2005. Other sectors reporting growth include: the financial, insurance, real estate, rental & leasing sector grew by 25.4 percent; professional, scientific, technical, and management services grew 15.5 percent; wholesale trade up 8.8 percent; accommodation and food services, up 6.7 percent; other services grew by 5.7 percent; information industries grew by four percent; manufacturing was up by 3.3 percent; construction was up 2.1 percent; educational, health care, and social services grew by 1.6 percent; and arts, entertainment, and recreation remained stable with 0.3 percent growth.

“The growth in the energy sector is due in large part to the increase in energy production, in both fossil fuels and renewable fuels,” said Fong. “The growing interest and development in ethanol in the state has helped boost certain crop prices. While this is good news for ag producers and smaller communities, it could pose a challenge for the livestock industry in the form of rising feed costs.”

Two groups reported declining taxable sales and purchases: utilities down 21.8 percent and transportation and warehousing down 14.3 percent.

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases in the last quarter of 2006 were Tioga, up 48.6 percent; Watford City up 29.8 percent; Crosby up 29.2 percent; Washburn up 28.7 percent; and Williston up 25.1 percent.

The biggest percentage fourth quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities were in Park River down 19.8 percent; Ashley down 18.3 percent; Wishek down 16.2 percent; Northwood down 15.4 percent; and Casselton down 13.5 percent.

Counties experiencing the highest percentage fourth quarter increases were Divide County, up 29.2 percent; McKenzie up 29.1 percent; Williams up 26 percent; Billings up 25 percent; and Sioux up 23.7 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage of decrease were Dunn County down 18.9 percent; McIntosh down 16.9 percent; Emmons down 12.4 percent; McHenry down 10.7 percent; and Pierce down 10.6 percent.

The complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports are available online at: http://www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/pubs/reports/2006-4-stat-report.pdf. For additional information, including questions regarding sales tax collections, please contact the Office of Tax Commissioner at 701.328.3402.

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