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Featured, seated, from left: Linda Tovar of Edinburg, Senior Manager of Public Affairs, H-E-B; Jo Ann Gonzáles Gama of Edinburg, Co-Founder, President, and Superintendent, IDEA Public Schools; and Carmen Pagan of McAllen, Co-Owner, Milestone Therapeutic Associates. Standing, from left: Edinburg Mayor Richard H. García, Attorney-at-Law, García, Quintanilla and Palacios; and former Hidalgo Mayor John David Franz, Law Offices of John David Franz.

Photograph Courtesy THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN

Edinburg’s retail economy for the 2014 was 8.62 percent better than 2013, generating $18,935,258 in local sales taxes last year, compared with $17,433,116 the year before, Mayor Richard García has announced. The mayor also is President of the Board of Director for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. The amount of local sales taxes collected helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends. The $18.9 million annual figure was reached after the city’s economy in December 2014 generated $2,087,133.29 in local sales taxes, keeping pace with the December 2013 output of $2,140,298.48. This latest data was released on Wednesday, February 11, by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The local sales tax figures represent December 2014 sales reported by monthly tax filers as well as October, November and December sales by businesses that report tax quarterly. The December 2014 local sales taxes were sent to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in January, and returned as sales tax rebates to the respective local government entities in February. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the EEDC uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. The sales tax, formally known as the State Sales and Use Tax, is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8 1/4% (.0825). Edinburg’s local retail economy has shown positive growth since 2008, increasing in its market share in the Valley from 8.05 percent in 2008 to 9.45 percent in 2014, according to Valley-wide data compiled by http://www.MyHarlingen.US, which is the official website for the City of Harlingen. In this image, Garcia is featured with four other area leaders who will be honored as “Presidential Pillars” on Thursday, February 27, as outstanding alumnus of The University of Texas-Pan American. The gala, which raises money for scholarships, is sold out. It is being held at the Boggus Ford Events Center, formerly the Pharr Events Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m. More details about the achievements of García, Franz, Tovar, Gama, and Pagan are available online at: http://www.utpa.edu/news/2015/01/gone-country-bling-it-up-for-final-alumni-ball-feb-27.htm

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Edinburg retail economy for 2014 shows almost nine percent improvement over 2013

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg’s retail economy for the 2014 was 8.62 percent better than 2013, generating $18,935,258 in local sales taxes last year, compared with $17,433,116 the year before, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council.

The amount of local sales taxes collected helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends.

The $18.9 million annual figure was reached after the city’s economy in December 2014 generated $2,087,133.29 in local sales taxes, keeping pace with the December 2013 output of $2,140,298.48.

This latest data was released on Wednesday, February 11, by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

The local sales tax figures represent December 2014 sales reported by monthly tax filers as well as October, November and December sales by businesses that report tax quarterly.

The December 2014 local sales taxes were sent to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in January, and returned as sales tax rebates to the respective local government entities in February.

The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the EEDC uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city.

The sales tax, formally known as the State Sales and Use Tax, is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8 1/4% (.0825).

Edinburg’s local retail economy has shown positive growth since 2008, increasing in its market share in the Valley from 8.05 percent in 2008 to 9.45 percent in 2014, according to Valley-wide data compiled by http://www.MyHarlingen.US, which is the official website for the City of Harlingen.

All cities in Hidalgo County reported a total of $17,212,569.45 in local sales taxes in December 2014, compared with $16,677,172.68 in December 2013, an increase of 3.21 percent. Hidalgo County government does not collect a local sales tax.

All cities in Cameron County generated $7,646,154.06 in local sales taxes in December 2014, compared with $7,007,182.62 in December 2013, an improvement of 9.11 percent. Cameron County government does not collect a local sales tax.

All cities in Starr County produced $600,824.99 in local sales taxes in December 2014, compared with $537,332.35 during the same month in 2013, an improvement of 11.81 percent. Starr County government does not collect a local sales tax.

All cities in Willacy County produced $161,878.70 in local sales taxes in December 2014, compared with $160,753.73 during December 2013, an increase of 0.69 percent. Willacy County government does not collect a local sales tax.

According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Weslaco, Brownsville, Harlingen, and Pharr, in that order, had the best showings in how December 2014 compared with December 2013, among the Valley’s major retail economies.

Weslaco registered the best improvement, registering an 18.89 percent increase. In December 2014, Weslaco’s retail sector generated $1,417,644.47 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,192,394.80 in December 2013.

Brownsville’s local sales tax collections in December 2014 represented the second-best improvement among the Valley’s major economies, coming in at $4,200,802.22, a 10.58 percent increase over the December 2013 figure of $3,798,589.09;

Harlingen’s December 2014 showing of $2,423,287.40 was 7.90 percent better than the same month in 2013, when that city’s economy generated $2,245,791.44 in local sales taxes.

Pharr’s December 2014 figure was up 7.85 percent higher over the same month in 2013, with $1,403,486.35 in local sales taxes being generated, compared with $1,301,266.27 in December 2013;

McAllen – the traditional retail giant of the Valley – reported $7,833,251.99 in local sales taxes in December 2014, up 1.46 percent over December 2013’s local sales taxes of $7,719,969.30;

Mission reported a 1.15 percent increase in retail sales for December 2014 over the December 2013. In December 2014, Mission generated $1,565,265.71 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,547,348.08 in December 2013; and

Edinburg’s retail economy in December 2014 generated $2,087,133.29 in local sales taxes, down 2.48 percent over December 2013’s output of $2,140,298.48.

Based on the amount of sales taxes generated, according to the state comptroller’s office, the Valley’s major cities ranked accordingly in the following local sales tax figures for December 2014:

• McAllen: $7,833,251.99, up 1.46 percent from December 2013 ($7,719,969.30);
• Brownsville: $4,200,802.22, up 10.58 percent over December 2013; ($3,798,589.09);
• Harlingen: $2,423,287.40, up 7.90 percent from December 2013 ($2,245,791.44);
• Edinburg: $2,087,133.29, down 2.48 percent over December 2013 ($2,140,298.48);
• Mission: $1,565,265.71, up 1.15 percent from December 2013 ($1,547,348.08);
• Pharr: $1,403,486.35, up 7.85 percent over December 2013 ($1,301,266.27); and
• Weslaco: $1,417,644.47, up 18.89 percent over December 2013 ($1,192,394.80).

For details of the December 2014 local sales tax figures for all cities, counties, transit systems, and special purpose taxing districts, locate the Monthly Sales Tax Allocation Comparison Summary Reports at the comptroller’s website: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/allocsum/compsum.html

Regarding the Pillars of Success honorees, the following highlights of these outstanding alumni follow:

Richard H. García

Richard H. García, who received a B.B.A. degree in Management from UT Pan American in 1971, is serving his third term as mayor of his hometown, the City of Edinburg. The 1964 graduate of Edinburg High School earned his juris doctorate degree from Texas Southern University in Houston and is a federal criminal law attorney and senior partner with the firm of García, Quintanilla & Palacios in McAllen.

John David Franz

John David Franz, who served as mayor of Hidalgo, Texas, from 1990 to 2012, received his B.A. degree in Government from UTPA in 1981. While in college, he became the youngest judge in the state when, at the age of 18, he was appointed municipal court judge in his hometown. He later earned a juris doctorate from the UT Law School and in 1990 opened the Law Offices of John David Franz in McAllen.

Jo Ann Gonzáles Gama

Houston native Jo Ann Gonzále Gama, co-founder, president and superintendent of IDEA Public Schools, came to South Texas to teach in the Donna Independent School District through Teach for America and stayed to help create a charter school system that educates more than 19,000 students in 36 schools throughout the Rio Grande Valley, Austin and San Antonio. She earned an M.Ed. degree in Educational Administration from UTPA in 2003.

Carmen Pagan

Carmen Pagan, who earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Communication Disorders from UTPA in 1987 and 1989, respectively, is co-owner of Milestones Therapeutic Associates in McAllen. The bilingual speech-language pathologist has more than 20 years of clinical experience and specializes in the assessment and treatment of children with neuromuscular disorders. Currently, she is chair of the Governor’s Commission for Women, to which she was first appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2005.

Linda A. Tovar

Linda A. Tovar, a Rio Grande Valley native, earned her B.B.A. degree in Management from UT Pan American in 2008. As senior manager of public affairs for H-E-B, she is responsible for providing leadership in the development and direction of H-E-B’s public affairs and community relations activities for the Border Region. Additionally, as community liaison, she serves as a company spokesperson and oversees H-E-B’s philanthropic activities in communities throughout the region.

Alfred H. Ogletree

This year’s Presidential Pillar is Alfred H. Ogletree.

Considered the “father of Bronc baseball”, Ogletree served as head coach at UTPA from 1969 to 1997. He led the Broncs to their only College World Series appearance in 1971, ending his Bronc coaching career with 1,217 wins.

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The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. It’s five-member governing board, which is appointed by the Edinburg City Council, includes Mayor Richard García as President, Fred Palacios as Secretary-Treasurer, and Felipe García, Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, and Steven Edward Cruz, II. For more information on the EEDC and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://www.EdbgCityLimits.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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