Select Page
City Councilmember Richard Molina, left, and City Manager Ramiro Garza, Jr.

Featured: City Councilmember Richard Molina, left, and City Manager Ramiro Garza, Jr. review key economic achievements and goals for Edinburg following the State of the City Address, delivered by Mayor Richard García on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the Edinburg City Auditorium. In the background are Irma Garza, Director of Public Information for the City of Edinburg, and Edinburg Councilmember David Torres.
Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through September 2015 is more than seven percent ahead of the same period last year, a figure that is better than the statewide average of all Texas cities, which came in with a 4.1 percent improvement when comparing the same nine-month periods, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members. For the month of September 2015, the city’s retail economy registered a 10.98 percent rate of improvement over the same month last year, the EEDC added, according to data released on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Among its many duties, the Texas Comptroller’s office is the state’s chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator and treasurer. The 10.98 percent increase over the same month last year was the best showing among the Valley’s larger economies. During the first nine months of 2015, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $18,676,992.00 in local sales taxes, compared with $17,433,497.27 for January through September 2014, resulting in the improvement of 7.13 percent. During September 2015, the city’s retail economy generated $1,864,640.98 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,680,118.10 for September 2014, representing the improvement of almost 11 percent, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. 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 amount of local sales taxes collected also helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends. 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). In another development that benefits the Edinburg economy – the upcoming Fall 2016 opening of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine – area leaders on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 announced that the Edinburg-based medical school will join leading medical schools throughout the country in determining best practices for the future of medical education. The School of Medicine has been accepted into the American Medical Association Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium and received a three-year, $75,000 grant to implement a program to help its first cohort of students develop strong communication skills. “Acceptance into this prestigious consortium is evidence of the important role the UTRGV School of Medicine will play in promoting change through innovation in medical and health education,” said Dr. Francisco Fernández, inaugural Dean of the School of Medicine. “Drs. Arden Dingle and Valerie Terry have taken a large step forward with this project, which promotes and improves the communicative skills of students showing the usefulness of an early-offered intervention on patient-physician communication within our medical curriculum. We look forward to seeing the results of their work and congratulate them on their participation in the consortium,” he said. The grant project, “Using Technology to Enhance the Pedagogy of Interpersonal Communication in Medicine,” involves having medical students use computer tablets to log patients’ oral histories, record group interactions and document other interpersonal interactions in a variety of activities, including some of the School of Medicine’s interprofessional initiatives.

••••••

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through September 2015 is more than 7 percent better than same period in 2014, reports Texas Comptroller

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through September 2015 is more than seven percent ahead of the same period last year, a figure that is better than the statewide average of all Texas cities, which came in with a 4.1 percent improvement when comparing the same nine-month periods, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members.

For the month of September 2015, the city’s retail economy registered a 10.98 percent rate of improvement over the same month last year, the EEDC added, according to data released on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

These figures are based on sales made in September 2015 by businesses that report tax monthly, and sales made in July, August, and September by businesses that report tax quarterly.

Among its many duties, the Texas Comptroller’s office is the state’s chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator and treasurer

The 10.98 percent increase over the same month last year was the best showing among the Valley’s larger economies.

During the first nine months of 2015, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $18,676,992.00 in local sales taxes, compared with $17,433,497.27 for January through September 2014, resulting in the improvement of 7.13 percent.

During September 2015, the city’s retail economy generated $1,864,640.98 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,680,118.10 for September 2014, representing the improvement of almost 11 percent, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

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

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).

HOW OTHER VALLEY CITIES, COUNTIES PERFORMED THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2015

Pharr, with an improvement of 12.3 percent from January through September 2015 over the same period last year, had a better year-to-date showing than Edinburg among the Valley’s larger city economies, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts reported.

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, both for January through September 2015, and for September 2015.

January through September 2015

McAllen: $58,136,660.58, up 0.86 percent compared with January through September 2014 ($57,637,132.55);
Brownsville: $33,473,517.17, up 2.86 percent compared with January through September 2014 ($32,541,143.79);
Harlingen: $20,362,677.64, up 3.01 percent compared with January through September 2014 ($19,766,774.50);
Edinburg: $18,676,992.00, up 7.13 percent compared with January through September 2014 ($17,433,497.27);
Pharr: $15,055,073.30, up 12.30 percent compared with January through September 2014 ($13,406,017.13);
Mission: $13,982,435.25, down 0.44 percent compared with January through September 2014 ($14,045,565.16); and
Weslaco: $10,892,934.69, up 2.24 percent compared with January through September 2014 ($10,653,353.25).

September 2015 compared with September 2014

McAllen: $5,353,329.36, down 0.97 percent compared with September 2014 ($5,406,299.47);
Brownsville: $3,164,236.54, up 1.38 percent compared with September 2014 ($3,120,913.75);
Harlingen: $1,929,883.91, up 2.93 percent compared with September 2014 ($1,874,777.09);
Edinburg: $1,864,640.98, up 10.98 percent compared with September 2014 ($1,680,118.10);
Pharr: $1,367,611.30, up 7.43 percent compared with September 2014 ($1,272,919.91);
Mission: $1,265,199.32, down 2.53 percent compared with September 2014 ($1,298,043.14); and
Weslaco: $999,719.55, up 1.63 percent compared with September 2014 ($983,638.75).

All cities in Hidalgo County reported a total of $12,930,102.47 in local sales taxes in September 2015, compared with $12,648,065.72 in September 2014, an increase of 2.22 percent. Year-to-date (January through September 2015), all cities in Hidalgo County have registered $140,510,627.31 in local sales taxes, compared with $135,269,753.81 for the same nine months in 2014, an improvement of 3.87 percent.

Hidalgo County government does not collect a local sales tax.

All cities in Cameron County generated $6,231,707.10 in local sales taxes in September 2015, compared with $6,032,332.00 in September 2014, an improvement 3.30 percent. Year-to-date (January through September), all cities in Cameron County have registered $65,533,905.34 in local sales taxes, compared with $63,262,106.14 for the same period in 2014, an improvement of 3.59 percent.

Cameron County government does not collect a local sales tax.

All cities in Starr County produced $470,984.97 in local sales taxes in September 2015, compared with $469,092.74 during the same month in 2014, an increase of 0.40 percent. Year-to-date (January through September), all cities in Starr County have registered $4,985,615.96 in local sales taxes, compared with $6,738,880.03 for the same period in 2014, a decrease of 26.01 percent.

Starr County government does not collect a local sales tax.

All cities in Willacy County produced $139,176.46 in local sales taxes in September 2015, compared with $148,779.91 during 2014, a decrease of 6.45 percent. Year-to-date (January through September), all cities in Willacy County have registered $1,428,575.00 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,454,647.19 for the same nine-month period in 2014, a decrease of 1.79 percent.

Willacy County government does not collect a local sales tax.

For details of the September 2015 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

UTRGV SCHOOL OF MEDICINE JOINS AMA’S MEDICAL EDUCATION CONSORTIUM

In another development that benefits the Edinburg economy – the upcoming Fall 2016 opening of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine – area leaders on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, announced that the Edinburg-based medical school will join leading medical schools throughout the country in determining best practices for the future of medical education.

The School of Medicine has been accepted into the American Medical Association Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium and received a three-year, $75,000 grant to implement a program to help its first cohort of students develop strong communication skills.

“Acceptance into this prestigious consortium is evidence of the important role the UTRGV School of Medicine will play in promoting change through innovation in medical and health education,” said Dr. Francisco Fernández, inaugural Dean of the School of Medicine.

“Drs. Arden Dingle and Valerie Terry have taken a large step forward with this project, which promotes and improves the communicative skills of students showing the usefulness of an early-offered intervention on patient-physician communication within our medical curriculum. We look forward to seeing the results of their work and congratulate them on their participation in the consortium,” he said.

The grant project, “Using Technology to Enhance the Pedagogy of Interpersonal Communication in Medicine,” involves having medical students use computer tablets to log patients’ oral histories, record group interactions and document other interpersonal interactions in a variety of activities, including some of the School of Medicine’s interprofessional initiatives.

Dingle, UTRGV Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Terry, Instructional Development Designer III at UTRGV, are the principal investigators of the grant, which means they developed and are in charge of carrying out the project.

Terry said the goal of the project is to have medical students develop strong communication skills through activities included in the school’s integrated curriculum.

“The ability to communicate effectively is essential to the practice of medicine,” she said. “With the introduction of technologies such as electronic medical records into all aspects of health care, teaching aspiring physicians to use technology to enhance, rather than impede, informational and empathetic exchanges with patients, families and other providers becomes essential to all levels of medical education.”

Dingle agrees that winning this AMA award is an indication that UTRGV School of Medicine is being recognized nationally for its innovative approach to medical education.

“We are excited to be a part of the AMA consortium and are looking forward to designing and implementing our project, which will enhance the current medical school curricula, particularly in the areas of communication, interdisciplinary collaboration and community-based activities,” she said.

The UTRGV School of Medicine joins the 11 medical schools who were part of the first grant cycle, as well as up to 19 other medical schools, in the consortium, Terry said.

“Receiving this grant acknowledges that the UTRGV School of Medicine is establishing its position as a leader in productive change in medical education,” Terry said.

The grant begins in January 2016 and continues through 2018.

•••••••

Jennifer L. Berghom contributed to this story. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

Share This

Share this post with your friends!