North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger is celebrating a successful first quarter of 2019, as reports show that the state’s taxable sales and purchases for the quarter have increased by nearly 10 percent.

A report released on Thursday, July 18, from the Tax Commissioner’s office showed an increase of 9.67 percent for taxable sales and purchases during the months of January, February and March, a significant increase from those months in 2018. Those sales equated to just over $4 billion for the state. Rauschenberger said taxable sales and purchases within the state have shown increases for the past two years, and cited increased oil production as a factor in this latest report.

“We are pleased to report good year-over-year increases for the past eight quarters, five of which have seen nearly 10 percent growth or more,” he explained in a release. “It was no surprise to see significant increase in this report with oil production hitting an all-time record of 1.4 million barrels per day in January.”

Of the 15 major sectors, 13 of them reported increases in the first quarter, most notable in the mining and oil extraction, wholesale trade and retail sectors. Retail in itself increased by 5.39 percent over last year, up $68.4 million over this same time in 2018.

“This continues a recent trend of growth in this important sector,” Rauschenberger said. “This is great news after years of declines in this vital component of the state’s economy.”

Rauschenberger noted that prior to the most recent three quarters, North Dakota’s retail sector had experienced at least 10 quarters of declining numbers.

Three of the state’s top six largest cities reported a increase in first quarter taxable sales and purchases, with Williston once again topping the list. Dickinson and Minot round out the top three, with Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks all reporting decreases. Williston reported an increase of 14.79 percent, nearly three percent higher than Dickinson, and eight percent higher than Minot.

The complete first quarter 2019 North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Report can be found online at www.nd.gov/tax.

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