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Tax Commissioner Reports 19.5% Decline in 3rd Quarter Taxable Sales and Purchases

Bismarck, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger announced today that North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases for the third quarter of 2020 are down 19.5% compared to the same timeframe in 2019. Taxable sales and purchases for July, August, and September of 2020 were $4.72 billion.

“Similar to the decline in taxable sales and purchases in the second quarter of this year, the drop in taxable sales and purchases during the third quarter is due to economic disruptions related to the coronavirus and decreasing oil prices,” Rauschenberger said.

Thirteen of the 15 major sectors reported taxable sales and purchases declines when compared to the third quarter last year. Most notably, the mining and oil extraction sector decreased by $530 million (a 64.2% decrease) and the wholesale trade sector decreased by $421 million (a 31.2% decrease). 

“Despite the overall downward movement, the retail trade sector experienced growth, increasing by $136 million or nearly 8%,” stated Rauschenberger. “This remains a trend for this important sector. Online purchases continue to impact this sector as North Dakotans choose to make purchases remotely during the pandemic.”

Percent changes for the third quarter of 2020 (compared to the third quarter of 2019) for the top four largest cities in North Dakota were as follows:

  • Minot – Decrease of 9.7%
  • Bismarck – Decrease of 6.4%
  • Grand Forks – Decrease of 4.1%
  • Fargo – Decrease of 4.0%

Rauschenberger noted that while these four largest cities continued to see a decline in the third quarter, they substantially increased from the second quarter of 2020.

Of the 50 largest cities in North Dakota, the highest percentage of decreases for the third quarter of 2020 (compared to the third quarter of 2019) were as follows:

  • Tioga – Decrease of 53.3%
  • Watford City – Decrease of 53.2%
  • Williston – Decrease of 50.2%
  • New Town – Decrease of 48.2%
  • Stanley – Decrease of 32.4%

As a note, all five of these cities are located in the state’s oil patch.

Counties with the highest percentage of decreases for the third quarter of 2020 (compared to the third quarter of 2019) were as follows:

  • McKenzie County – Decrease of 52.0%
  • Mountrail County – Decrease of 50.9%
  • Williams County – Decrease of 49.7%
  • Dunn County – Decrease of 48.2%
  • Burke County – Decrease of 47.6%

The complete third quarter 2020 North Dakota Sales & Use Tax Statistical Report can be accessed online at www.nd.gov/tax.

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Ryan Rauschenberger
Tax Commissioner
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Tax Commissioner Reports 19.5% Decline in 3rd Quarter Taxable Sales and Purchases

Bismarck, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger announced today that North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases for the third quarter of 2020 are down 19.5% compared to the same timeframe in 2019. Taxable sales and purchases for July, August, and September of 2020 were $4.72 billion.

“Similar to the decline in taxable sales and purchases in the second quarter of this year, the drop in taxable sales and purchases during the third quarter is due to economic disruptions related to the coronavirus and decreasing oil prices,” Rauschenberger said.

Thirteen of the 15 major sectors reported taxable sales and purchases declines when compared to the third quarter last year. Most notably, the mining and oil extraction sector decreased by $530 million (a 64.2% decrease) and the wholesale trade sector decreased by $421 million (a 31.2% decrease). 

“Despite the overall downward movement, the retail trade sector experienced growth, increasing by $136 million or nearly 8%,” stated Rauschenberger. “This remains a trend for this important sector. Online purchases continue to impact this sector as North Dakotans choose to make purchases remotely during the pandemic.”

Percent changes for the third quarter of 2020 (compared to the third quarter of 2019) for the top four largest cities in North Dakota were as follows:

  • Minot – Decrease of 9.7%
  • Bismarck – Decrease of 6.4%
  • Grand Forks – Decrease of 4.1%
  • Fargo – Decrease of 4.0%

Rauschenberger noted that while these four largest cities continued to see a decline in the third quarter, they substantially increased from the second quarter of 2020.

Of the 50 largest cities in North Dakota, the highest percentage of decreases for the third quarter of 2020 (compared to the third quarter of 2019) were as follows:

  • Tioga – Decrease of 53.3%
  • Watford City – Decrease of 53.2%
  • Williston – Decrease of 50.2%
  • New Town – Decrease of 48.2%
  • Stanley – Decrease of 32.4%

As a note, all five of these cities are located in the state’s oil patch.

Counties with the highest percentage of decreases for the third quarter of 2020 (compared to the third quarter of 2019) were as follows:

  • McKenzie County – Decrease of 52.0%
  • Mountrail County – Decrease of 50.9%
  • Williams County – Decrease of 49.7%
  • Dunn County – Decrease of 48.2%
  • Burke County – Decrease of 47.6%

The complete third quarter 2020 North Dakota Sales & Use Tax Statistical Report can be accessed online at www.nd.gov/tax.

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