Tax collection boost a welcome sign of improving economy

News that taxable sales and purchases went up 3.82% in Minot in 2018 (compared to 2017) and that city sales tax collections were up 5.7% are, hopefully, signs that the economy might be improving.

There is plenty of doom and gloom about the local economy. Empty retail spaces, vacancy rates, the lack of permits for new buildings, stalled development, are just a few of the things about which many Minot residents frequently comment. Even unemployment numbers continuing to be very low, optics and the increase in property taxes prompt considerable concern.

Under the circumstances, any upbeat news is welcome and the sales tax collection increase is no small signal. The City of Minot, like many cities, continues to look for ways to provide the services taxpayers demand within the confines of a reasonable budget.

Ward County’s taxable sales and purchases went up 3.43% so whatever the drivers are, they aren’t exclusive to the city.

In fact overall statewide taxable sales and purchases being up 12.5% in 2018 over 2017 is also good news, particularly for those other cities with tight budgets and/or facing challenges similar to those that Minot has faced in recent years.

Obviously energy is an important influence, as witnessed by the very high increase in taxable sales and purchases in Mountrail and McKenzie counties (both up over 43%).

Perhaps it’s consumer confidence, though, that also buoys the revenue hike; perhaps there are several contributing factors.

Still, good news is good news.

We’ll take it.

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