Kenmare ND - Features

Real People. Real Jobs. Real Adventures.

Kenmare News









Thanks for reading some of the latest features about area people and events.  

To view every page and read every word of The Kenmare News each week,
subscribe to our ONLINE EDITION


Annual sales tax report offers surprising comparisons...

On April 30, tax commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger released the 2018 annual taxable sales and purchases reports.

5/07/19 (Tue)

On April 30, tax commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger released the 2018 annual taxable sales and purchases reports.

Calendar year 2018 taxable sales and purchases totaled $20.24 billion, a 12.54 percent increase from a $17.98 billion total in 2017.

“A 12 percent annual growth rate is the largest year-over-year increase in our taxable sales and purchases since 2012,” Rauschenberger said. “We are continuing to see growth in our sectors related to oil and gas industry.”

Typically, when these reports are released to the public, they include the state’s 50 largest cities. This report, however, includes the state’s 200 largest cities.

There are some interesting surprises that include some critically depressed communities economically and some that continue to have a robust local economy.

“You can also see how the oil industry has impacted this report when you take note that the majority of the counties with larger increases were in the west,” Rauschenberger said. “Mountrail and McKenzie counties, two major oil producing counties, both grew by over 40 percent in 2018.”

Of the 200 largest cities in North Dakota, the highest percent increases for 2018 (compared to 2017) were as follows:

Parshall – Increase of 323.72 percent; Sheyenne – Increase of 153.10 percent; Dunn Center – Increase of 127.14 percent;  Alexander – Increase of 69.79 percent and Golden Valley – Increase of 67.95 percent.

Oil and gas are major economic drivers, but there are several agriculture-only communities such as Sheyenne, Napoleon and New Rockford, in which there were sharp increases as well.

Locally, there is some interesting information as well. A summary for each community follows:


The Ward County gooseneck community continues to have a strong economy, often times greater than communities with much larger populations.

Kenmare’s taxable sales and purchases in 2018 were $26.45 million, which is up 26 percent from 2017 when it was $21 million.

Kenmare’s population is listed at 1,096, Linton’s is 1,097, yet Kenmare’s $26.45 million more than doubles that of Linton at $11.65 million.

Hazen, a strong farming community of 2,400 that had sales and purchases of $20.3 million, trailed Kenmare by more than $6 million.Casselton with 2,329 people and fueled by agriculture, was $20.3 million; and Lisbon, more than twice the population of Kenmare at 2,154, was $21.6 million.

Kenmare’s numbers actually dropped about 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, but strong 2nd and 3rd quarters brought about the double-digit increase.


Berthold’s economy has stabilized, but continues to show positive gains. Taxable sales and purchases in 2018 amounted to $6.74 million with a population of 454, an increase of 7.5 percent over the same period in 2017.

Communities with similar populations and their taxable sales follow: Argusville (475) $1.37 million; Fessenden (479) $3.7 million; Finley (445) $5.31 million; Leeds (427) $2.16 million; Strasburg (409) $1.93 million and Westhope (429) $4.37 million.

The biggest game changer for Berthold is in comparing it with Walhalla, population 996, a community with more than twice the population with taxable sales and purchases of $5.85 million.


Believe it or not, Carpio, at 157 population, is one of the state’s 200 largest cities and its economy is driven largely by a refueling station and convenience store along U.S. Highway 52.

Like Berthold, this community is outperforming others with similar populations and outdoing some with larger populations.

Carpio’s taxable sales and purchases were $1.36 million in 2018, up 4 percent over 2017 when the statistic was $1.31 million.

What really came as a shock in poring through these numbers was Kensal, a community of 163, about 30 miles northeast of Jamestown. Its taxable sales and purchases totaled only $157,000 for all of 2018. Des Lacs, with 204 people, was even less at $54,048.

Carpio’s numbers nearly caught Argusville with its 475 population and $1.37 in sales and purchases.

Another comparison could be that of Carson, population 293 and the Grant County seat. Its 2018 total was $760,000.


With a population of 242, thisRenville County border town had sales and purchases of $1.28 million. It showed a decrease of less than a half percent since 2017.

Sherwood’s closest comparison in population is Hazelton, in Emmons County. It has a population of 237 and had sales and purchases of $3.1 million. Sherwood’s closest comparison in sales and purchases is Page, population 232, in Cass County. Sales and purchases there totaled $1.27 million.


The Burke County seat, with 336 population, showed sales and purchases in 2018 of $2.04 million, which is a decline of less than 2 percent from $2.07 million in 2017.

Max and Arthur are the closest communities in size to Bowbells at 334 and 337, respectively, with sales and purchases of $2.59 million and $1.20 million.

Powers Lake

This Burke County community shows a population of 280 with 2018 sales and purchases of $7.25 million, which shows a strong local economy vs. the population.

Scranton’s population is nearly identical at 281, but its sales and purchases were $2.45 million.

Powers Lake’s economy was stronger than the McIntosh Councy seat of Ashley with more than twice the population at 749. It showed sales and purchases of $6.7 million.


Lignite, which actually saw a 7 percent decline in sales and purchases in 2018, remains in a class by itself.

This Burke County community of 155 had a whopping $11.4 million in sales and purchases, which compares closely with Drayton that has a population of 824 and had sales and purchases of $11.3 million. 

Full Report

To view the full, 2018 Taxable Sales and Purchases report, log on to ( 

Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!