Local cities show strong sales tax revenue growth

HARLINGEN — Harlingen, San Benito and South Padre Island showed strong sales tax numbers for the month of March, the Texas Comptroller’s Office revealed yesterday.

And after months of negative numbers following the closing of the local Wal-Mart, the City of Raymondville posted a sharp gain of 4.46 percent.

The sales tax allocations from the state are based on sales in these municipalities for the month of March.

The sales tax allocations from the state are an indicator of the health of retailers and the local economy in Texas cities.

Statewide, the sales tax allocations totaled $787.8 million, a 2.6 percent increase over last year.

“The cities of Irving, Round Rock, Dallas, San Antonio and Odessa saw noticeable increases in sales tax allocations,” Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “The cities of McAllen and Sugarland saw noticeable decreases.”

Those poor McAllen numbers, which most analysts say reflect the continuing weakness of the Mexican peso versus the U.S. dollar, showed the Valley’s largest metropolitan area with a reimbursement of $5.4 million, down 7.12 percent from the same month last year.

For the year, McAllen’s sales tax allocations are down 6.41 percent.

In Cameron County, Harlingen was up 3.84 percent for the month (up 3.52 percent for the year), San Benito showed a gain of 7.63 percent (up 3.69 percent for the year) and South Padre Island was up 3.61 percent (up 7.36 percent for the year).

Elsewhere, the numbers in the rest of the county were poor.

Rio Hondo, where traffic re-routing due to the temporary closing of the lift bridge apparently has hurt retail sales, was down 19.89 percent for the month and 4.71 percent for the year.

Brownsville was down 8.77 percent (down 5.12 percent for the year), Los Fresnos was down 15.37 percent (down 10.71 percent for the year) and La Feria was down 3.01 percent (down 4.31 percent for the year).

In Hidalgo County, Mercedes (down 24.35 percent for the month) and Edinburg (down 5.36 percent) showed losses for the month compared to last year.

Pharr and Weslaco posted small monthly gains.

Cameron County


HARLINGEN — Up 3.84 percent Up 3.52 percent

SAN BENITO — Up 7.63 percent Up 3.69 percent

RIO HONDO — Down 19.89 percent Down 4.71 percent

LA FERIA — Down 3.01 percent Down 4.31 percent

S. PADRE ISL — Up 3.61 percent Up 7.36 percent

LOS FRESNOS — Down 15.37 percent Down 10.71 percent

BROWNSVILLE — Down 8.77 percent Down 5.12 percent

Willacy County

RAYMONDVILLE —Up 4.46 percent Down 21.69 percent

LYFORD — Up 9.39 percent Up 2.50 percent

Hidalgo County

MCALLEN — Down 7.12 percent Down 6.41 percent

MERCEDES — Down 24.35 percent Down 15.31 percent

EDINBURG — Down 5.36 percent Down 0.75 percent

PHARR — Up 1.17 percent Up 1.45 percent

WESLACO — Up 0.11 percent Up 1.84 percent

Source: Texas Comptroller’s Office; sales are from March