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Featured: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley student Brandon Lau talks about his group’s research project with Robert Kaplan, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, during the Border Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Symposium (BEDES) hosted by UTRGV, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas-San Antonio Branch, and the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. The symposium was held Friday, December 1, 2017 at the Embassy Suites in McAllen. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Edinburg’s retail economy from November 2016 through September 2017 has generated more than $19.3 million in local sales taxes, compared with more than $19.5 million for the same 11-month period the previous year, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. 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 sales tax, formally known s 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% (0.825). From November through September 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $19,310,276.82 in local sales taxes, compared with $19,526,679.52 for November 205 through September 2016, a decrease of 1.10 percent. The year-to-date figures, which under the reporting system used by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, begin in November of each year and end in October of the following year. For September 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $1,963,990.26 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,933,808.59 in September 2016, representing an increase of 1.56 percent. The local sales tax in Edinburg is also used to help pay for many city services, while the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge “Coach” Salinas. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Salinas as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noe Sauceda as Members. 

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Edinburg EDC: Retail economy generates more than $19.3 million in local sales taxes between November 2016 and September 2017

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg’s retail economy from November 2016 through September 2017 has generated more than $19.3 million in local sales taxes, compared with more than $19.5 million for the same 11-month period the previous year, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

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 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).

From November 2016 through September 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $19,310,276.82  in local sales taxes, compared with $19,526,679.52 for November 2015 through September 2016, a decrease of 1.10 percent.

The year-t0-date figures, which under the reporting system used by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, begin in November of each year and end in October of the following year.

For September 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $1,963,990.26 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,933,808.59 in September 2016, representing an increase of 1.56 percent

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

The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge “Coach” Salinas.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda as Members.

In terms of local sales tax revenue for September 2017, McAllen led all major Valley cities with$5,070,915.96, while Brownsville was second, ($3,061,163.61), Harlingen was third ($2,187,152.81), and Edinburg was fourth ($1,963,990.26).

How Key Valley Cities Performed In September 2017 and September 2016

All figures are based on sales made in September 2017 by businesses that report tax monthly,  and sales made in July, August and September by quarterly filers, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, that he was sending on that date $774.9 million in local sales tax allocations to cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts, based on September 2017 reporting period.

The $774.9 million local sales tax rebates statewide represented a five percent increase from sales made in September 2016 by businesses that report tax monthly, and sales made in July, August and September by quarterly filers, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

The local sales tax data is among the latest economic barometers featured in a detailed summary provided by the state comptroller’s office.

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

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:

September 2017 compared with September 2016

• McAllen: $5,070,915.96, down 2.69 percent compared with September 2016 ($5,211,110.38);
• Brownsville: $3,061,163.61, down 2.55 percent compared with September 2016 ($3,141,566.17);
• Harlingen: $2,187,152.81, up 12.20 percent compared with September 2016 ($1,949,245.39);
• Edinburg: $1,963,990.26, up 1.56 percent compared with September 2016 ($1,933,808.59);
• Pharr: $1,537,812.63, up 5.51 percent compared with September 2016 ($1,457,435.70);
• Mission: $1,307,603.97, up 0.63 percent compared with September 2016 ($1,299,416.00); and
• Weslaco: $1,069,108.94, up 3.83 percent compared with September 2016 ($1,029,668.89).

November 2016 through September 2017, compared with November 2015 through September 2016

Under the reporting system maintained online by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, for all public entities which generate local sales taxes, year-to-date totals begin in November of each year.

From November 2016 through September 2017, based on the amount of sales taxes generated, compared with November 2015 through September 2016, the Valley’s major cities ranked accordingly in the following local sales tax figures:

• McAllen: $54,226,623.41, from November 2016 through September 2017, down 2.92 percent compared with November 2015 through September 2016 ($55,857,845.62);

• Brownsville: $33,617,438.41, from November 2016 through September 2017, down 1.74 percent compared with November 2015 through September 2016 ($34,216,129.36);

• Harlingen: $22,056,637.34, from November 2016 through September 2017, up 5.75 percent compared with November 2015 through September 2016 ($20,855,548.17);

• Edinburg: $19,310,276.82, from November 2016 through September 2017, down 1.10 percent compared with November 2015 through September 2016 ($19,526,679.52);

• Pharr: $15,701,675.34, from November 2016 through September 2017, up 1.47 percent compared with November 2015 through September 2016 ($15,473,886.47);

• Mission: $13,581,297.00, from November 2016 through September 2017, down 2.66 percent compared with November 2015 through September 2016 ($13,952,961.06); and

• Weslaco: $11,063,677.65, from November 2016 through September 2017, up 2.46 percent compared with November 2015 through September 2016 ($10,797,941.83).

For details on November 2o17 sales tax allocations, which represent sales taxes generated in September 2017, and sales made in July, August and September by quarterly filers,  by individual cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose districts, visit the Comptroller’s Monthly Tax Allocation Comparison Summary Reports.

CROSS-BORDER TRADE, REGIONAL GROWTH HOT TOPICS OF 2017 BEDES SEMINAR

Current economic conditions and the implications of monetary policy were prime topics of the annual Border Economics, Development and Entrepreneurship Symposium (BEDES), held on Friday, December 1, 2017 at Embassy Suites Hotel in McAllen.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Department of Economics and Finance in the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the McAllen Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored the event.

The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.

Robert S. Kaplan, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, was a key participant in the symposium, moderated by UTRGV Professor of Economics Dr. Marie T. Mora, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity.

Mora is recognized nationally for her extensive research on Hispanic socioeconomic outcomes and has spoken on the subject at numerous institutions, including the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Kaplan addressed the topic of the trading relationship between the United States and Mexico.

“Our research shows, on average, about 70 percent of the imports from Mexico into the United States are intermediate goods,” he said. “This trading relationship with Mexico has likely caused U.S. companies to be more globally competitive, not only in Texas but in the entire U.S. Mexico is strategically important to our country.”

Kaplan acknowledged the need to update and renegotiate the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement, but said the trading relationship between the United States and Mexico is essential to the competitiveness of trade in this hemisphere. Losing that relationship would spark the loss of a vast number of jobs, he said.

Regarding construction of the border wall and its effects on the Texas border economy, Kaplan urged caution.

“It’s a constructive thing for us to be leveling the playing field and renegotiating trade agreements,” he said, “but I wouldn’t want to see a situation develop where, in order to be elected as president in Mexico, you would need to be anti-America or anti-American. Politically, we try to stay apolitical, but we have benefitted enormously by having a good, solid relationship with Mexico and border countries. History has shown that this is not only economically valuable, but geopolitically valuable.”

UTRGV students present research projects

Before and after the symposium, UTRGV business students were able to present their research projects to area business leaders, Federal Reserve officials, chamber of commerce officials and UTRGV faculty.
Focusing on the effects of hours worked by lawyers in the U.S., students Iliana Villalobos, Luis García and Santos Villarreal explained their research and data sets.

“We wanted to see which lawyers worked the most, the ones that are self-employed or the ones that work for an agency,” said García, a junior majoring in finance. “This question arises from the need to have family time and a life outside of work. We wanted to make the analysis and show our results.”

Dr. Wanling Huang, Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance, oversaw student presentations at the symposium.

“They have spent more than a month preparing for today,” she said. “They first presented to the department, and out of 12 groups, these were the best projects.”

Huang said it was important for her students to become familiar with working with data sets to ensure finding decent jobs in the future.

“The conclusions here should be meaningful to real life data and society, especially since some of my students want to work in projects here in McAllen or on the border,” she said. “The results are significant to people living here and they will already have experience analyzing these types of situations.”

About UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

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Amanda A. Taylor contributed to this article. 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

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