Pumping out higher sales taxes

North Dakota State Roundup

Published March 1, 2007  | March 2007 issue

The western portion of North Dakota has benefited tremendously from higher oil prices. Proof of that is evident in the state's taxable sales and purchases. As the oil extraction industry invests and expands—in new drilling rigs, hiring more workers—that spending turns over into other forms of local spending.

In the sparsely populated western region, much of the localized spending occurs in Williston, near the border with Montana but at the heart of the Williston oil basin, which stretches down to South Dakota and up into Canada. From 2002 to 2005, taxable sales and purchases in Williston jumped from $172 million to $270 million, a 57 percent increase.

Taxable sales and purchases hit $258 million during the first nine months of 2006, a 34 percent increase over the same period in 2005. That growth gap could widen because, thanks to Christmas, the final quarter of the year tends to be the largest for taxable sales and purchases.

Ronald A. Wirtz