sales taxes

Taxable sales and purchases in North Dakota were up 10 percent for the second quarter of 2018, compared to the same period a year ago.

Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger sais taxable sales and purchases for April, May and June were $5.15 billion. Rauschenberger said a lot of the growth is coming from western North Dakota.

"The growth is coming from oil exploration," Rauschenberger said. "If you look at Dickinson, taxable sales and purchases were up 14 percent. In Williston, it was up over 30 percent."

The US Supreme Court has ruled states and local government can require Internet retailers to collect sales taxes.

The 5 to 4 ruling reverses a 1992 decision, in which the court ruled a retailer had to have a physical presence in that state to collect sales taxes.

North Dakota US Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D) was North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner at that time. She took that first case to court – it was called “Quill versus North Dakota.”

ND Tax Dept.

The US Supreme Court will hear a case tomorrow (Tuesday, 4-17-18) that could force Internet retailers to start collecting state sales taxes.

The case comes from South Dakota.  It attempts to reverse the decision in the earlier “Quill” case from North Dakota. “Quill” sold office supplies through catalogs. The high court would not allow North Dakota and other states to require the collection of sales taxes from retailers that don’t have a physical presence in that state.  The justices ruled that it would be extremely difficult to collect sales taxes in different states.

ND Legislature

A House committee is looking at a bill that could lead to North Dakota collecting sales tax from on-line retailers.

The bill could set up a court case to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling in “Quill v. North Dakota.” In that case, the Court rejected the idea of states collecting sales tax from Internet retailers. Sen. Dwight Cook (R-Mandan)  is the sponsor. He said one of two things would have to happen to allow that tax collection.

Courtesy Lynn Helms

North Dakota Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms believes the state needs to rethink how it handles sales taxes in revenue forecasting.

Helms said during the oil boom, sales tax rose rapidly – and as things slowed in the oil patch, sales tax collections dropped.

"Of course, there was the materials that go into wells when they're drilled, and the materials that go into hydraulic fracturing," Helms said in an interview. "Those two things will come back when drilling activity increases."

Taxable sales and purchases in North Dakota for the second quarter of calendar 2016 were down nearly 26 percent from where they were a year ago.

Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said taxable sales and purchases totaled $4.4 billion for the months of April, May and June. He said what’s driving it is the downturn in energy and agriculture.

"Essentially, we're seeing our numbers going back to a pre oil boom number," Rauschenberger said.

Committee considering ending sales tax on clothing

Jan 28, 2013

A state Senate committee is looking at a bill to eliminate the sales tax on clothing purchased in North Dakota.

"The bill would provide tax relief for all North Dakotans, regardless of their financial ability, or prominence in society," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. George Sinner (D-Fargo). "Every single person in North Dakota is required, by law, to wear clothing."

Sinner told the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee – because Minnesota and Montana do not tax clothing, many shoppers leave the state to buy those items.

Sales taxes for school buildings

Jan 21, 2013

A State Senate committee is looking at a proposal to allow a local school district to levy a sales tax for building projects – if 60 percent of the voters approve.

The effort came from Williston – where voters overwhelmingly turned down a 55-million dollar bond issue for two new school buildings. Williston School Superintendent Viola LaFontaine told the Senate Education Committee – people in Williston did not want to pay more in property taxes. But she says a number of people have told her they would support a sales tax.