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Edinburg’s retail economy in May 2018 shows more than seven percent improvement over same month in 2017, Texas Comptroller announces

Featured: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine on Monday, July 9, 2018, welcomed its Class of 2022, whose members are going through a three-week orientation at the UTRGV Medical Education Building on the Edinburg campus. 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

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Edinburg’s retail economy in May 2018 shows more than seven percent improvement over same month in 2017, Texas Comptroller announces

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg’s retail economy during May 2018 showed a more than seven percent improvement over the same month in 2017, representing the fifth consecutive month of growth over the same period last year, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

The previous month, in April 2018, the local retail economy registered an 9.84 percent improvement over the same month in 2017.

In March 2018, the local retail economy registered an almost 12 percent improvement over the same month in 2017, the best showing among all major Valley cities.

In February 2018 and January 2018, Edinburg’s retail economy reported an 11.09 percent and 9.29 percent improvement, respectively, over the same two months in 2017.

All figures for Edinburg, along with every other governmental entity in Texas which collect a local sales tax, are provided by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The most recent findings are based on sales made in May 2018 by businesses that report tax monthly.

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 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.

Edinburg’s retail economy in May 2018 produced $1,813,133.26 in local sales taxes, compared to $1,690,735.15 in May 2017 – representing an improvement of 7.23 percent.

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.

Between November 2017 and May 2018, Edinburg’s retail economy has generated $13,013,498.30 in local sales taxes, compared with $12,161,402.49 from November 2016 to May 2017, an improvement of seven (7) percent.

In terms of local sales tax revenue for May 2018, McAllen led all major Valley cities with $5,100,261.06, while Brownsville was second ($3,137,466.61), Harlingen was third ($2,045,370.73), and Edinburg was fourth ($1,813,133.26).

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 Key Valley Cities Performed In May 2018 and May 2017

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, said he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $759 million in local sales tax allocations, which represent sales made in May 2018 by businesses that report tax monthly.

The increase between May 2018 and May 2017 statewide represent an 11.6 percent improvement.

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:

May 2018 compared with May 2017

• McAllen: $5,100,261.06, up 9.21 percent compared with May 2017 ($4,669,847.31);
• Brownsville: $3,137,466.61, up 10.31 percent compared with May2017 ($2,844,026.51);
• Harlingen:$2,045,370.73, up 10.09 percent compared with May 2017 ($1,857,870.89);
• Edinburg: $1,813,133.26, up 7.23 percent compared with May 2017 ($1,690,753.15);
• Pharr: $1,671,536.56, up 19.15 percent compared with May 2017 ($1,402,877.73);
• Mission: $1,191,591.22, up 3.38 percent compared with May 2017 ($1,152,566.79); and
• Weslaco: $971,934.74, up 2.69 percent compared with May 2017 ($946,452.17).

November 2017 through May 2018, compared with November 2016 through May 2017

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 2017 through May 2018, based on the amount of sales taxes generated, compared with November 2016 through May 2017, the Valley’s major cities ranked accordingly in the following local sales tax figures:

• McAllen: $36,536,507.59, from November 2017 through May 2018, up 5.80 percent compared with November 2016 through May 2017 ($34,531,608.14);

• Brownsville: $22,463,494.57, up six (6) percent from November 2017 through May 2018, compared with November 2016 through May 2017 ($21,191,136.07);

• Harlingen: $15,061,109.22, from November 2017 through May 2018, up 9.27 percent compared with November 2016 through May 2017 ($13,782,641.53);

• Edinburg: $13,013,498, from  November 2017 through May 2018, up seven (7) percent compared with November 2016 through May 2017 ($12,161,402.49);

• Pharr: $10,893,642.54, from November 2017 through May 2018, up 10.22 percent compared with November 2016 through May 2017 ($9,883,365.36);

• Mission: $8,885,683.80, from November 2017 through May 2018, up 2.41 percent compared with November 2016 through May 2017 ($8,675,857.82); and

• Weslaco: $7,347,386.94, from November 2017 through May 2018, up 3.15 percent compared with November 2016 through May 2017 ($7,122,697.59).

For details on local sales taxes generated in May 2018 by individual cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose districts, visit the Comptroller’s Monthly Sales Tax Allocation Comparison Summary Reports.

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE WELCOMES CLASS OF 2002 WITH ORIENTATION

For Alejandro Aquino and Adriana Saavedra – both of them first-year UTRGV medical students and Rio Grande Valley natives – the first day of orientation for medical school was a dream come true.

“It’s a great addition to the Valley,” said Saavedra, an Edinburg native who earned her undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies from Brown University in Rhode Island and returned to the Valley to attend medical school. “I know it took a lot of investment to make it happen. I’m just very grateful for all their hard work.”

Aquino, who grew up in Pharr and earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University in North Carolina and his Master of Public Health from Texas Tech, said he wanted to attend the UTRGV School of Medicine because it is an opportunity to contribute to the development of the new school.

“I want to help the school make a name for itself at the state and, hopefully, national levels,” Aquino said.
Aquino and Saavedra are two of the UTRGV School of Medicine’s 56 newest students who began their three-week orientation on Monday, July 9, at the UTRGV Medical Education Building on the Edinburg Campus.

The Class of 2022 is made up of 52 Texas residents who have matched, including 14 students from the Valley, further strengthening the School of Medicine’s ties to the community. (One of the School of Medicine’s key priorities is to contribute to the education, recruitment and retention of physicians in the Valley and the rural communities of South Texas.) Four candidates are from out of state, some with strong ties to the Valley.

“With this latest class, the UTRGV School of Medicine continues its commitment to educating the next generation of passionate physicians who are committed to improving the health of the community and closing gaps in access to care across the Valley,” said Dr. John H. Krouse, Vice President of Health Affairs for UTRGV and Dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine. “I am confident that the Class of 2022 will bring new talent, and will join our current two cohorts in blazing the trail for medical education opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley.”

The 56 were selected from more than 4,100 applicants for admission to the UTRGV School of Medicine. Of those applicants, the School of Medicine interviewed 360 potential students.

The Class of 2022 has an average MCAT score in the 74th percentile nationwide, a grade point average of 3.5, and an average BCPM (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math) grade point average of 3.4.

Students entering the Class of 2022 also come from prestigious institutions throughout Texas and the nation, including Baylor, Duke, UT Austin, Emory, Rice, Stanford, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, among others.

The demographics of the Class of 2022 include 28 percent Hispanic, 26 percent Asian and Asian Indian, 17 percent African American and 30 percent White/Caucasian.

The White Coat Ceremony

Orientation culminates with the White Coat Ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, July 28, at the Performing Arts Center at Harlingen CISD.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation started the White Coat Ceremony in 1993 to welcome new medical students to the healthcare profession. About 97 percent of medical schools in the United States today, as well as schools for other healthcare professions, perform such ceremonies, which serve as a rite of passage for medical students. Each student, carrying a white coat, walks across the stage and the school leadership helps them don the white coat for the first time.

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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Jennifer L. Berghom 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.

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