Tax commissioner reports 'healthy' increase in 3rd quarter taxable sales and purchases
Results for taxable sales and purchases in North Dakota are in for the third quarter of 2018.
Those totaled $5.61 billion for the months of July, August and September. That compares with $4.74 billion for the same three-month period in 2017.
"We're up 18 percent," said North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger. "That's the largest percentage increase we've seen since 2012, in a single quarter."
Rauschenberger said when you look at statewide numbers, five of the six largest cities in North Dakota were either flat or showed increases.
"So that's good, because in the last few quarters this year, we saw that the middle and eastern parts of the state were down, while the west was up," Rauschenberger said. "We're starting to see the rest of the state catch up with the west."
Grand Forks continued to see a decrease in taxable sales. It was down by 8 percent. Rauschenberger said much of that is due to a strong US dollar, compared to the Canadian dollar. And he said that’s been true throughout 2018.
"When you're on the border, and depend on a lot of Canadian traffic from Winnipeg and Manitoba, that does hurt, when we have a strong US dollar," Rauschenberger said.
And Rauschenberger said the closing of some of the bigger retailers in Grand Forks, including Macy's, has hurt the numbers.
Rauschenberger said the fourth quarter numbers won’t be known until February. He said those figures are normally pretty good – because of holiday shopping. But he said this time, it will include collections from on-line retailers – and that could make a significant impact.