FEATURED, FROM RIGHT: Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza, Jr.; Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; and Edinburg City Councilmember Dan Díaz. The mayor and city councilmember helped present Canales with the “Accomplishment by Public Official Award” from the Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. This image was taken at Canales’ law office in Edinburg on Thursday, July 14, 2022.
Photograph By KARLA PONCE
Rep. Canales’ efforts on behalf of families served by Edinburg Housing Authority earns him “Accomplishment by Public Official Award” from Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
By DAVID A. DÍAZ
A strong commitment by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, to help and encourage families who are served by the Edinburg Housing Authority to continue being a vital part of the city’s economic, educational, and public service communities has earned him an “Accomplishment by Public Official Award” from the Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
The Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials is made up of organizations from Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The mission of the Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials is the provision of adequate housing for the entire people and the attainment of sound communities through the processes of development, preservation, conservation, rehabilitation, and redevelopment.
The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials is the leading housing and community development advocate for the provision of adequate and affordable housing and strong, viable communities for all Americans — particularly those with low- and moderate-incomes. Its members administer U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs such as Public Housing, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, Community Development Block Grant Program, and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program.
Canales, who also serves as Chair, House Committee on Transportation, was nominated for the honor by leaders with the Edinburg Housing Authority.
Olga L. Regalado, Deputy Director, Edinburg Housing Authority, provided examples of Canales’ efforts on behalf of the hundreds of families who are helped by the local agency in her letter of nomination to the Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials,
“Rep. Canales has been extremely reliable as a sponsor in many of our events. In our annual Back to School Drive, Mr. Canales and his team have brought monetary donations as well as supplies. Our annual Turkey Distribution and Toy Drive distribution have been some of the other events for which he has been a trustworthy sponsor,” Regalado said.
“He is truly passionate about helping the community and will hear any concerns in the community,” she added. “More notably, Rep. Canales hosted an Easter Egg Hunt for families living in housing, where he was able to create a fun and relaxing atmosphere for the kids as well as network with the families to understand what was happening in the communities and what he could do to help,” she added.
Canales said he is always impressed with the hard-working families he meets who are served by the Edinburg Housing Authority.
“I tell people, especially our youth, in public housing that they can become President of the United States, (President Jimmy Carter) a Supreme Court Justice (Sonia Sotomayor), a world-class singer (Elvis Presley, Marc Anthony, Jay-Z), a Hollywood star (Whoopi Golberg, Mr. T.) and that’s only part of a very long list of people, along with the individuals who are served by the Edinburg Housing Authority, who have and will be American success stories,” Canales said.
“I am very proud of all of my constituents – the people from all walks of life who I have the honor of serving in the Texas Legislature – and all of them inspire me, especially those who have faced hard challenges with courage and determination,” he added.
Officials with the Edinburg Housing Authority had received the award on behalf of Canales during the 82nd Annual Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials conference held Monday, June 27 through Wednesday, June 30, 2022 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Every year, the Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of House and Redevelopment Officials requests nominations for different categories.
“Without hesitation we nominated State Representative Terry Canales for the ‘Accomplishment by Public Official Award’ and he won,” Regalado said. “Edinburg Housing Authority staff went to the Southwest NAHRO Annual Conference in Baton Rouge to receive the award on behalf of State Rep. Terry Canales. Hundreds of housing experts were present at the awards ceremony, and everyone was amazed with everything State Rep. Canales has done for our clients.”
Dr. Martín Castillo, Executive Director, Edinburg Housing Authority, Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza, Jr., and Edinburg City Councilmember Dan Díaz led a delegation of Edinburg Housing Authority officials and staff members to bring Canales with the honor at the state legislator’s law office, located at 310 S. Closner Boulevard, on Thursday, July 14, 2022.
Canales expressed his appreciation for the leadership and staff of the Edinburg Housing Authority.
“Thank you to Edinburg Housing Authority for everything you do to support our local families. It is a great honor to be selected for this award amongst all of the excellent public officials in our seven-state region. I look forward to continuing to partner with EHA to help our Edinburg community,” he said.
Other members of the Edinburg Housing Authority who participated in the ceremony honoring Canales at his Edinburg law office included:
• Dr. Martín Castillo, Executive Director;
• Olga Regalado, Deputy Director;
• Richard Christian, Finance Director;
• Zulema García, Public Housing Property Manager;
• Robert Briones, Public Housing Property Manager;
• Manuel López, Public Housing Intake Manager;
• Jilda Treviño, Public Housing Manager Assistant;
• Daniel Cantú, Chair, Board of Directors;
• Alexis Villarreal, Commissioner; and
• Juan Guzmán, Resident Commissioner.
ABOUT THE EDINBURG HOUSING AUTHORITY
The Edinburg Housing Authority was first established in 1949. It is a government assisted housing agency directly supervised and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Edinburg Housing Authority currently serves 325 households (100 elderly, 225 family with children) in their seven public housing complexes which makes up its Public Housing Program – El Jardín, Lantana, La Posada, Viviendas M. Ramírez, Peridot, Towers and Liberty Village.
In addition, under the Edinburg Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher program – also known as Section 8 – there are 302 landlords who have contracts with the Edinburg Housing Authority to provide rental housing to 980 households – 400 elderly and disabled households, and 580 families with children.
In the Edinburg Housing Authority’s Public Housing Program, there are 120 families with a Disabled Head of Household, while in Section 8, there are 443 families with a Disabled Head of Household.
A Disabled Household is household composed of one or more persons at least one of whom is an adult (a person of at least 18 years of age) who has a disability.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, households are classified into three types – Family, Elderly and Disabled:
• A Family Household is one where the head of the household is not disabled or elderly (over the age of 62).
If one or more disabled or elderly individuals live in the home, but are not the head of the household, that household will not be classified as elderly or disabled. However, for example, if a person were to move in with their parents who are over the age of 62 and one of them remained the head of the household, it would be considered elderly by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition.
• An Elderly Household is one where a single person, the head of household, or the spouse of the head of household is older than 62. Two or more individuals over 62 who live together are also categorized in this way. An individual over 62 living with a live-in aide is also an elderly household.
If one of the individuals in a household is over the age of 62, but do not fit into one of the situations explained above, that household is not classified as elderly. For example, an elderly parent moving in with a child who is the head of household would not make the household elderly.
• A Disabled Household is similarto an elderly household, one where a single person, the head of household, or the spouse of the head of household is disabled is classified as a disabled household. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also classifies a household as disabled if two or more disabled individuals live together or one disabled individual lives with a live-in aide.
Highlights of the work performed by the Edinburg Housing Authority include, according to its website, include:
MISSION OF THE EDINBURG HOUSING AUTHORITY
At the Edinburg Housing Authority, the agency takes great pride in serving the needs of low-income families and do our best to:
• Increase the availability of satisfactory, safe and affordable housing;
• Ensure equal opportunity in housing;
• Promote self sufficiency and asset development; and
• Improve community quality of life and economic viability.
To accomplish their mission, Edinburg Housing Authority constantly strives to expand and improve housing and related services through dedication, integrity, compassion and responsiveness to all the needs of they serve.
VISION OF THE EDINBURG HOUSING AUTHORITY
To ensure affordable, equal opportunity housing and provide a safe, suitable living environment for every resident of the city of Edinburg.
Sen. Hinojosa reminds Texans of upcoming Sales Tax Holiday – set for August 5 through August 7, 2022 – to save money on certain school clothes, footwear, supplies, and more
Texas’ highly successful annual Sales Tax Holiday is scheduled this year from Friday, August 5, through midnight Sunday, August 7, 2022 and will offer Texans an opportunity to save millions in state and local sales tax on clothing and various back-to-school items, according to Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen.
Texans who shop during the Sales Tax Holiday three-day period will not have to pay state and local sales taxes on clothing, school supplies, face masks, backpacks, or footwear priced under $100. Items sold online and layaway plans qualify, as well.
“The back-to-school season is an excellent opportunity for our Texas families to find bargains and low prices, and at the same time will be an economic driver for our local businesses,” said Hinojosa. “Given the increased costs of goods, I encourage our families to take full advantage of the sales tax holiday and save money by shopping this coming Sales Tax Holiday. These purchases can be done in stores or from an online seller doing business in Texas.”
Qualifying items can be purchased tax free online or in-store when either:
• The item is both delivered to, and paid for by, the customer during the Sales Tax Holiday; or,
• The customer orders and pays for the item, and the seller accepts the order during the Sales Tax Holiday for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period ends.
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ office estimates that shoppers will save $112 million in state and local sales tax during this sales tax holiday.
Texas’ Sales Tax Holiday weekend has been an annual event since 1999.
A summary of which key items that will be tax-free, and which key items will not be tax-free, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, follows:
TAX-FREE CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR
During the Sales Tax Holiday, individuals can buy most footwear and clothing (sold for less than $100) tax free.
One does not need to give the seller an exemption certificate.
The exemption applies to each eligible item sold for less than $100, and there is no limit to the number of qualifying items you can buy.
For example, if a customer buys two shirts for $80 each, each shirt qualifies for the exemption because each is less than $100, even though the total purchase price is $160.
Tennis shoes, jogging suits and swimsuits can be worn for other than athletic activity.
NOT TAX-FREE CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR
The following items are not tax-free during the Sales Tax Holiday:
• Items sold for $100 or more.
• Clothing subscription boxes
• Specially-designed athletic activity or protective-use clothing or footwear. For example, golf cleats and football pads are usually worn only when people play golf or football, so they do not qualify for the exemption.
• Clothing or footwear rentals, alterations (including embroidery) and cleaning services items used to make or repair clothing, such as fabric, thread, yarn, buttons, snaps, hooks and zippers jewelry, handbags, purses, briefcases, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and other accessories.
Certain baggage items. The following items do not qualify for Sales Tax Holiday: Frame backpacks; luggage; briefcases; athletic, duffel or gym bags; computer bags, or purses.
TAX-FREE SCHOOL SUPPLIES
• Blackboard chalk.
• Book bags.
• Cellophane tape.
• Composition books.
• Folders – expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila.
• Glue, paste and paste sticks.
• Index cards.
• Index card boxes.
• Kits. For kits of school supplies that contain exempt items, as well as taxable ones, the taxability depends on the value of exempt or taxable items in it. There is no limit on the quantity of school supplies in a kit, but if the value of the exempt items is more than the taxable ones, the kit is exempt. If the value of the taxable items is more than the exempt ones, then the kit is taxable.
• Legal pads.
• Lunch boxes.
• Markers (including dry erase markers).
• Paper – loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper.
• Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes.
• Pencil sharpeners.
• Writing tablets.
For additional information about the upcoming sales tax holiday see:
Rule 3.365, Sales Tax Holiday – Clothing, Shoes and School Supplies.
For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories that affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com).