More locals shopping in town

HARLINGEN — More businesses are leading residents to shop in Harlingen.

Big retailers like Sam’s Wholesale Club and Burlington Coat Factory are keeping more residents from driving to shopping districts in McAllen and Brownsville. At least that’s how City Manager Dan Serna sees it.

“More shoppers are staying here and spending their money locally,” Serna said yesterday. “We have benefitted from all the retail development and it’s continuing to grow.”

New businesses are expected to help boost the city’s sales tax collection by at least 2 percent during the upcoming fiscal year.

The city’s sales tax collection is projected to climb to about $22.8 million during 2016-2017, Assistant Finance Director Sergio Villasana said.

Serna said the $14.8 million convention center also is expected to help fuel growth in the Harlingen Heights business district.

“We are primed for development, especially around Bass Pro Shops and Sam’s, especially with the new convention center coming in,” Serna said.

Development is expected across an approximately 11-acre tract next to the convention center’s site near Sam’s Wholesale Club, Serna said.

“We expect that area to develop fairly quickly,” he said.

New restaurants, including Aspen Creek Grill and Hooters, are expected to open near Bass Pro Shops during the upcoming year.

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Sales Tax Revenue by City

Harlingen sales tax revenue

2015: $22M

2010: $18.1M

2005: $16.7M

2000: $14.7M

McAllen sales tax revenue

2015: $62.5M

2010: $53.9M

2005: $49.4M

2000: $35.4M

Brownsville sales tax revenue

2015: $36.2M

2010: $30.6M

2005: $26.5M

2000: $19.5M