Valley sees solid growth in retail sales

HARLINGEN — Sales tax revenues for cities in the Valley were sharply higher in 2015 for those lucky enough to count the dollars from new Walmarts for an entire year.

Most other municipalities showed modest yet solid growth.

Elsa, Hidalgo, Donna, Palmhurst and Pharr all showed major sales tax gains from increased retail activity, mostly at their Walmart stores. Sales tax revenue increases ranged from 42.05 percent in Elsa to 11.6 percent in Pharr.

McAllen maintained its position as the dominant retail center across the Valley, but real growth was flat with a miniscule increase of 0.32 percent on sales tax revenues of $62.59 million.

Brownsville, the second-largest retail center in the Valley, was up 2.51 percent over 2014 with sales tax revenues of $36.26 million.

Harlingen continued to show steady growth with revenues of $22.06 million, which was up 2.75 percent.

“As long as it’s a steady increase, that’s what we look for,” Chris Gonzales, president and CEO of the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce, said yesterday. “I’m glad to see we have growth not just in our city but a lot of the cities. Usually when one is going well, others here are doing well, too.”

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