ECONOMY OF NORTH DAKOTA

Sunflowers in Traill County
Oil drilling equipment in western North Dakota
North Dakota state quarter
North Dakota Mill and Elevator postcard, 1915
Agriculture is the largest industry in North Dakota, although petroleum and food processing are also major industries. The economy of North Dakota had a gross domestic product of $24 billion in 2005. The per capita income in 2009 was $34,034, ranked 29th in the nation. The three-year median household income from 2002-2004 was $39,594, ranking 37 in the U.S. North Dakota is also the only state with a state owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota in Bismarck, and a state owned flour mill, the North Dakota Mill and Elevator in Grand Forks.

Industry and commerce
North Dakota's earliest industries were fur trading and agriculture. Although less than 10% of the population is employed in the agricultural sector, it remains a major part of the state's economy, ranking 24th in the nation in the value of products sold. The state is the largest producer in the U.S. of barley, sunflower seeds, spring and durum wheat for processing, and farm-raised turkeys.

Energy
Coal mines generate 93% of the North Dakota electricity. Oil was discovered near Tioga in 1951, generating 53 million barrels (8,400,000 m3) of oil a year by 1984. Western North Dakota is currently in an oil boom: the Tioga, Stanley and Minot-Burlington communities are experiencing rapid growth. The oil reserves may hold up to 400 billion barrels (6.4×1010 m3) of oil, 25 times larger than the reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. However, a report issued in April 2008 by the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the oil recoverable by current technology in the Bakken formation is two orders of magnitude less, in the range of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels, with a mean of 3.65 billion.

The Great Plains area, which North Dakota is apart of, is called the "Saudi Arabia" of wind energy, North Dakota has the capability of producing 1.2 billion kilowatt hours of energy. That is enough to power 25% of the entire country's energy needs. Wind energy in North Dakota is also very cost effective because the state has large rural expanses and wind speeds seldom go below 10 mph (16 km/h).

State taxes
North Dakota has a slightly progressive income tax structure; the five brackets of state income tax rates are 2.1%, 3.92% 4.34%, 5.04%, and 5.54% as of 2009. North Dakota is ranked as the 21st highest in the nation for their capitals' total state taxes. The sales tax in North Dakota is 5% for most items. The state allows municipalities to institute local sales taxes and special local taxes, such as the 1.75% supplemental sales tax in Grand Forks. Excise taxes are levied on the purchase price or market value of aircraft registered in North Dakota. The state imposes a use tax on items purchased elsewhere but used within North Dakota. Owners of real property in North Dakota pay property tax to their county, municipality, school district, and special taxing districts.

The Tax Foundation ranks North Dakota as the state with the 30th most "business friendly" tax climate in the nation. Tax Freedom Day arrives on April 1, 10 days earlier than the national Tax Freedom Day. In 2006, North Dakota was the state with the lowest number of returns filed by taxpayers with an Adjusted Gross Income of over $1M - only 333.

Luciano Mende

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