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Edinburg gives initial approval to provide a maximum of $30 million – to be spread out over up to 30 years without raising city property tax rate – to help in the construction of $150 million Hidalgo County Courthouse

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Featured, from left: Precinct 1 Hidalgo County Commissioner A.C. Cuellar, Jr. of Weslaco; Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García; Mayor Richard García; Councilmember J.R. Betancourt; and Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina. This image was taken on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 in the Council Chamber of Edinburg City Hall.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

The Mayor and Edinburg City Council on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, gave their initial approval to provide a maximum of $30 million – to be spread out over up to 30 years and without raising the city property tax rate – to help in the construction of a $150 million Hidalgo County Courthouse, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. If all goes as planned by the county, construction on the courthouse may begin near the end of this year, if weather permits. The county anticipates a completion date of October 2018. The action took place following a 2 p.m. joint work session with the Hidalgo County Judge and Hidalgo County Commissioners Court, held in the Council Chamber of Edinburg City Hall, and sets into motion a plan that will eventually lead to the construction of a state-of-the-art judicial center, which will be located in downtown Edinburg, next to the current county courthouse complex.

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Construction activities in Edinburg for 2015, not counting the value of any work at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, reaches $139.5 million

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Featured: Edinburg Mayor Richard García addresses the community on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance as he prepares to welcome Gov. Greg Abbott to the city, which was part of a legislative tour organized by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. A year later, Edinburg’s economy continued its strong performances, including reaching $139.5 million in total construction activities in 2015.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Construction and related building activities in Edinburg totaled more than $139.5 million in value in 2015, almost $20 million ahead of the figure reached in 2014, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. For the month of December 2015, all construction activities totaled more than $11.7 million, also ahead of the pace for the same month in 2014, which came in at almost $7.4 million. The value of construction of new homes during 2015 led all year-to-date categories, amounting to almost $48 million, compared with more than $35.7 million during 2014. 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. Richard García and Agustín García, Jr. are not related. The most valuable construction project to receive a building permit in December 2015 was a facility, classified as Multi-Family Residences New Construction/Addition/Remodel, valued at $5 million. The facility, whose owner is Edgeware LLC, will be located at 615 South Sugar Rd., Phase II Subdivision. Four single-family residences rounded out the top five most valuable projects issued building permits in December: $ 371,000 – Reynold and Angelien Martínez, 4804 Oxford St., Bentley Estates Subdivision; $ 280,000 – Pin Point Investments LLC, 2522 Terranova Cir., Emerald Pointe Subdivision; $ 260,000 – Pin Point Investments LLC, 2510 Terranova Cir., Emerald Point Ph. 2 Subdivision; and $ 250,000 – Jesús González Clemente, 4806 June Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision. Three hundred forty new homes, valued at almost $48 million, led all construction activities in 2015. The top categories in Edinburg during 2015 were: $47,969,918– Single-Family Residences New Construction; $27,756,178 – Commercial New Construction; $24,519,797 – Non-Taxable New/Alterations (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine); $18,761,863 – Commercial Alterations; $14,314,122 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction; and $6,237,533 – Residential Alterations. A building permit includes the estimated value of the work, but does not include the costs of the lot, equipment and furnishings. In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits.

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Edinburg retail economy from January to August 2015 shows almost 7 percent increase over same period in 2014

 Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr.

Featured: Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr., on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, helps set the stage for the State of the City Address by Mayor Richard García, which focused on economic development gains for Edinburg. In the latest showing of the strength of the city’s economy, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts reported on Tuesday, October 7, 2015 that Edinburg’s retail economy, from January through August 2015, is almost seven percent ahead of last year’s pace.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through August 2015 is almost 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 4.3 percent improvement year for the same eight-month period, 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 August 2015, the city’s retail economy registered a 13.89 percent rate of improvement over the same month last year, the EEDC added, according to data released on Tuesday, October 7, by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. During the first eight months of 2015, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $16,812,351.02 in local sales taxes, compared with $15,753,379.17 for January through August 2014, representing an improvement of 6.72 percent. In August 2015, the city’s retail economy generated $1,671,788.87 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,467,867.49 for August 2014, representing an improvement of 13.89 percent, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. By comparison, the average rate for all cities in Texas dropped .04 percent in August 2015 compared with August 2014. 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).

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Edinburg’s June 5.1 percent unemployment rate is the best showing for that month since 2005

Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr., with his wife, Belinda, holding the Bible while his father, Precinct 4, Place 2 Justice of the Peace Homer Jasso, administers the oath of office

Featured, from left: Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr., with his wife, Belinda, holding the Bible while his father, Precinct 4, Place 2 Justice of the Peace Homer Jasso, administers the oath of office on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at Edinburg City Hall. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council help shape and approve the policies of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. In the most recent findings by the Texas Workforce Commission, the 5.1 percent unemployment rate in Edinburg for June 2015 was the best showing for that month for Edinburg since 2005.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Edinburg’s unemployment rate for June 2015 was 5.1 percent, the best showing for that month for Edinburg since at least 2005, when a new formula was developed by the Texas Workforce Commission in how it estimates unemployment statistics, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. Edinburg was edged out by McAllen, which posted a five percent unemployment rate, for the top spot in June among the Valley’s major economies. The city’s latest performance also was better than the U.S. unemployment rate for June 2015, which was 5.3 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000). The EEDC, a public entity which is part of the Edinburg city government, is led by Mayor Richard García, who serves as President of the five-member Board of Directors. Agustín “Gus” García, Jr. (no relation to the mayor) is the Executive Director of the EEDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. Edinburg’s June 2015 figure of 5.1 percent continues a year-long pattern of the positive reports: May 2015 (4.8 percent); April 2015 (4.6 percent); March 2015 (4.8 percent); February 2015 (4.8 percent); and January 2015 (5.1 percent). Edinburg’s June 2015 unemployment rate of 5.1 percent remained close to the Texas statewide average, which was 4.4 percent in June, 4.1 percent for May 2015, four percent for April 2015, 4.2 percent for March 2015, 4.3 percent for February 2015, and 4.6 percent for January 2015, according to Texas Workforce Commission figures. The data represents an increase of 247 jobs in Edinburg when comparing the employment figures for June 2015 and June 2014. In June 2015, there were 35,493 persons employed in Edinburg, compared with 35,246 in June 2014. The June 2015 unemployment rate of 5.1 percent for Edinburg is also better than the annual unemployment rate in Edinburg for 2014, which was 5.8 percent – and that yearly rate was the best 12-month average from January through December since 2008. Edinburg’s annual unemployment rates since 2005, which is the year in which the state government began preparing those figures using a more accurate formula, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, have registered as follows: 2014 (5.8 percent); 2013 (6.9 percent); 2012 (7.5 percent); 2011 (8.4 percent); 2010 (8.2 percent); 2009 (6.8 percent); 2008 (4.9 percent); 2007 (4.7 percent); 2006 (5.2 percent); and 2005 (4.9 percent). Among its many duties, the Texas Workforce Commission provides information and analysis on shifts in occupations and industries within the state, including unemployment rates and employment figures, broken down by cities, counties, and regions in Texas, on a monthly basis. The Texas Workforce Commission data on all entities in the state, including cities and counties, is available online at: http://www.tracer2.com/cgi/dataanalysis/AreaSelection.asp?tableName=Labforce

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Edinburg retail economy from January through May 2015 up more than six percent over same period last year, according to Texas comptroller

Edinburg retail economy from January through May 2015 up more than six percent over same period last year, according to Texas comptroller

Featured, from left: City Councilmember David Torres; City Councilmember Richard Molina; Mayor Richard Garcia; Richard Ruiz, President, RMR Inc., dba Ruiz Sales; Laura S. Ruiz, Accounts Manager, Ruiz Sales; Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr.; and Councilmember J.R. Betancourt, on Tuesday, June 2, at Edinburg City Hall.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through May 2015 was 6.19 percent better than the same period last year, generating $11,748,113.94 in local sales taxes, compared with $11,062,277.87 from January through May 2014, according to the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The EEDC, led by Executive Director Agustín “Gus” García, Jr., is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. This latest showing is the second-best – in terms of the rate of improvement – among all of the Valley’s major cities for the first five months of 2015, based on the findings of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, which on Wednesday, July 8, released statewide figures, which represent the most up-to-date data information by that state agency. Among its many duties, the Texas Comptroller’s office is the state’s chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator and treasurer. For the month of May 2015, the Edinburg retail economy generated $1,561,948.68 in local sales taxes, up 2.88 percent over the May 2014 showing of $1,518,208.18. Mayor Richard García (no relation to Gus García, Jr.), who is President of the EEDC Board of Directors, explained that 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 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). The sales tax figure represents monthly sales made in May by businesses that report tax monthly, sent to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in June, and returned as sales tax rebates to the respective local government entities in July. The positive growth by the Edinburg economy reflects the importance and impact of family-owned businesses in the community. On Tuesday, June 2, the Edinburg City Council honored one of the many pioneer families whose firms have have succeeded, both as a business and as a leader in community service. Ruiz Sales, distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables, located at 1902 West Canton Road in Edinburg, is the creation and legacy of a family with more than 100 years of experience in that profession. “We specialize in tropical fruits such as mangos and limes, which are available year around from Mexico and South America,” according to its website, http://www.RuizSales.com. “We work with only the best growers and shippers to bring you only the best fruits and vegetables available on the market today.” Richard M. Ruiz and has wife, Laura S. Ruiz, both attended the city council session in early June to receive the city proclamation recognizing their family business. For details of the May 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

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