Select Page

McAllen’s retail economy generates most sales tax revenue for the year among Valley’s largest cities, reports Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Featured: Antonio and Rebecca Díaz of Edinburg were among thousands of South Texans who witnessed family members and friends receive their university diplomas from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley during graduation ceremonies held on Saturday, December 16, 2018, at the McAllen Convention Center. The previous day, graduation ceremonies also were held on the Student Union Lawn at UTRGV in Brownsville. UTRGV graduated more than 3,100 students during the two days of ceremonies. Since UTRGV opened in 2015, the university has awarded more than 12,800 degrees.

Photograph By SILVER SALAS

••••••

McAllen’s retail economy generates most sales tax revenue for the year among Valley’s largest cities, reports Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

McAllen, Brownsville and Harlingen finished first, second and third, respectively, in the amount of local sales taxes generated by their retail economies for the one-year period calculated by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Edinburg, Pharr, Mission and Weslaco, in that order, rounded out the list of local retail taxes produced for the same one-year period, according to the state agency.

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.

All figures for Valley communities which collect a local sales tax on qualified retail purchases, along with every other governmental entity in Texas which do the same, are provided by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

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 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.

In terms of local sales tax revenue for October 2018, McAllen led all major Valley cities with $5,472,359.12, while Brownsville was second ($3,322,887.71), Harlingen was third ($2,022,327.17), and Edinburg was fourth ($2,007,037.14).

The monthly findings for October 2018 are based on sales made by businesses that report tax monthly.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, said he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $761 million in localsales tax allocations from retail activities generated in October 2018 – 9.5 percent more than in October 2017.

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:

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

• McAllen: $64,157,909.36, from November 2017 through October 2018, up 9.45 percent compared with November 2016 through October 2017 ($58,616,964.88);

• Brownsville: $38,851,025.62, up 6.78 percent from November 2017 through October 2018, compared with November 2016 through October 2017 ($36,383,169.53);

• Harlingen: $25,293,869.01, from November 2017 through October 2018, up 5.35 percent compared with November 2016 through October 2017 ($24,007,367.90);

• Edinburg: $22,794,459.19, from November 2017 through October 2018, up 8.88 percent compared with November 2016 through October 2017 ($20,934,767.43);

• Pharr: $18,959,562.49, from November 2017 through October 2018, up 11.09 percent compared with November 2016 through October 2017 ($17,065,314.64);

• Mission: $15,659,980.81, from November 2017 through October 2018, up 6.58 percent compared with November 2016 through October 2017 ($14,693,032.70); and

• Weslaco: $12,802,273.24, from November 2017 through October 2018, up 7.13 percent compared with November 2016 through October 2017 ($11,950,056.95).

October 2018 compared with October 2017

• McAllen: $5,472,359.12 up 24.64 percent compared with October 2017 ($4,390,341.47);
• Brownsville: $3,322,887.71, up 20.14 percent compared with October 2017 ($2,765,731.12);
• Harlingen: $2,022,327.17, up 3.67 percent compared with October 2017 ($1,950,730.56);
• Edinburg: $2,007,037.14, up 23.54 percent compared with October 2017 ($1,624,490.61);
• Pharr: $1,633,687.83, up 19.80 percent compared with October 2017 ($1,363,639.30);
• Mission: $1,375,841.66, up 23.75 percent compared with October 2017 ($1,111,735.70); and
• Weslaco: $1,051,260.22, up 18.60 percent compared with October 2017 ($886,379.30).

For details on local sales taxes generated in October 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 GRADUATES FIRST CLASS OF VAQUEROS

Fall commencement kicked off on a windy Friday, December 15, 2018, on the Student Union Lawn in Brownsville, as 560 graduates received their diplomas from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Graduates didn’t let the high winds ruin their celebration, though, as families and friends waited patiently listening to pre-processional music provided by the UTRGV Mariachi Aztlán.

“Today is our opportunity to recognize and congratulate you for what you have achieved,” UTRGV President Guy Bailey told graduates.

This semester’s commencement was the first for UTRGV’s #FirstClass, students who started with UTRGV in fall 2015 and who were not transfers from either legacy institution UTB-TSC or UTPA.

On the Brownsville Campus, 43 of this semester’s graduates are #FirstClass.

Bailey offered words of encouragement for the next chapter of their journeys.

“You have had different teachers in the last four years, you’ve had some wonderful teachers,” Bailey said. “They nurture you, they give you a test. Your new teacher won’t do that.”

That’s because the new teacher is experience.

“Experience is a hard teacher, because you get the test before the lesson,” Bailey said. “You have been well prepared for life. Your teachers have nurtured you, guided you, provided you with an education. We look forward to seeing you achieving those goals.”

‘Grateful for the opportunities”

One of them is April García, a 2015 graduate of Brownsville’s Porter Early College High School. She received her Bachelor of Social Work degree on Friday, December 15, 2018.

García is graduating in three and a half years, rather than the typical four years, because she took advantage of UTRGV’s tuition cap on 15-plus hours and sometimes took 18 credit hours a semester.

She said she chose to attend UTRGV for its affordability and proximity to home and family.

“I am a first generation college graduate,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect. I just went in and felt like a little puppy. It was hard for me, at first.”

When picking a major, she looked for a career she could be passionate about and discovered Child Protective Services. In January, she starts a full-time position at CPS in Brownsville as a conservatorship specialist.

“It feels like a weight lifted off of my shoulders,” she said. “My mom always stressed going to college.”

García will stay in Brownsville to work at CPS, and after gaining work experience, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in social work.

“I am thankful for where I am right now, and for my mom providing for me and helping me as much as she could until I was able to figure it out for myself,” García said. “I am grateful for the opportunities. I know many people lose hope and I told myself to keep trying, and if I fail, at least I failed trying. And now I’m here.”

#FirstClass Grad Student

Angela Mar, a 2014 graduate of UTRGV legacy institution UT Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, will graduate from UTRGV with a master’s degree in Experimental Psychology.

“Early on, I knew that I loved psychology and I wanted to focus more on the applied side, rather than the clinical side,” Mar said. “And research is an area of application.”

Mar’s thesis centered on a species of opossum from Brazil born at early neurodevelopmental stages. She conducted research in the Biomedical Research Facility on the Brownville Campus where her mentor, Dr. Mario Gil, Assistant Professor of Psychology, has a lab.

The lab is overseen by Dr. John Vanderberg, SOM Professor of Human Genetics and part of the South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute. There, Mar researched the behavior of this particular opossum, to study if they could be a potential research model for the origins of autism.

In September, Mar presented the research at the UTRGV School of Medicine Research Symposium in McAllen, where she won Best Poster for Graduate Student.

“It has been really interesting working with Dr. Gil and the undergraduate students in the lab,” Mar said.

But now it’s time to get some work experience before potentially settling into a doctoral program in fall 2020.

“Being Dr. Gil’s advisee, I had to put in a lot of work. Things don’t come easy,” she said. “But at the end, it was really worthwhile.”

The ceremony concluded with the traditional ringing of the University Bell by graduates Diana Lara and Ernesto Flores.

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.

••••••

Victoria Brito contributed to this article. For more this and other Texas legislative news stories which affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com)

 

Share This

Share this post with your friends!