Sales tax revenues up

HARLINGEN – The city will receive slightly more sales tax revenue this month from the Texas Comptroller’s Office than it did last year.

Harlingen will receive $1.713 million, an increase of 1.69 percent from last year’s $1.685 million.

The sales taxes received in January reflect sales in November.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is sending cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $617.2 million in local sales tax allocations for January, a decrease of 0.1 percent from last year. Hegar said sales tax revenue for the state last month was $2.33 billion, down 1.1 percent compared to December 2014.

“As with the previous two months, December’s sales tax revenue was down largely due to spending reductions in oil and gas-related sectors,” Hegar said.

Considering the drop in revenue across the state and in many cities, Mayor Chris Boswell felt the increase was positive.

“Harlingen still remains in the black,” he said. “If you look at other cities, Mercedes and McAllen, they’ve seen a pretty significant drop.”

McAllen this month is receiving $4.922 million, a decrease of 8.16 percent from last year when it received $5.360 million. Mercedes saw a 15.18 percent decrease this month when it received $736,874.

Last year’s revenue totaled $868,797.

Compared to those numbers, Harlingen is in pretty good shape, Boswell said.

“Some of that is a reflection that not as many Mexican shoppers are coming because of the strength of the dollar in a world economy,” he said.

As of Thursday, one Mexican peso was worth 5.6 cents. That means almost 18 pesos are equivalent to $1.

“It’s caused Mexican shoppers to stay away,” he said. “In recent years we’ve had more Mexican shoppers with places like Bass Pro Shops.”

The city did see significant growth in 2015. Bert Ogden Toyota Scion opened in August at 8721 W. Expressway 83. Qualfon, a call center, opened its doors in May. Several new businesses opened in the downtown area, including Carlito’s Wine House, Armando’s Tuxedos and The Vanity Lash Hair and Waxing Studio.

San Benito and Raymondville both saw increases in their sales tax numbers:

– San Benito is receiving $332,924, a 12.32 percent increase from last year.

– Raymondville is receiving $106,636, a 0.98 percent increase from last year.

Other cities also posted sales tax increases and decreases.

– Brownsville is receiving about $3.009 million, a 2.18 percent increase from last year.

– Edinburg is receiving $1.548 million. That’s a 0.45 percent increase over last year’s $1.541.

– Weslaco posted a 4.88 percent decrease and will receive $872,148. A year ago, it received about $916,960.


– Texas cities are receiving $402 million this month, an increase of 2.4 percent from last year.

– Counties are receiving $37.4 million, a 6.9 percent decrease from last year.

– Transit systems are receiving $141.3 million, an increase 1.8 percent.

– Special Purpose Taxing Districts are receiving $36.5 million, a 1.1 percent decrease from last year.