Retail dollars: Harlingen posts strong first-month sales tax gain

HARLINGEN — The first sales tax allocation of 2018 shows the City of Harlingen keeping pace with its exceptional prior year.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Harlingen’s take for November was 4.80 percent above November 2016.

The monthly allocations are based on sales made in November by businesses that report tax monthly. While not a complete economic picture of a municipality, the numbers give an indication of the health of a city’s retail sector.

In 2017, Harlingen finished up 6.42 percent for the entire year. Analysts say a 2 percent increase year-over-year is a sign of a healthy local economy.

Statewide, taxing districts were allocated $709.2 million in local sales tax allocations for sales made last November. This is 9.5 percent higher than a year ago.

In Cameron County, much like the state, most cities showed a strong first month in the 2018 allocations, with San Benito up 3.05 percent, Brownsville up 3.64 percent, La Feria up 6.97 percent and Los Fresnos up 4.81 percent.

South Padre Island showed a small 0.27 percent gain, while Rio Hondo (down 3.16 percent) and Port Isabel (down 1.18 percent) were the only bigger cities to post negative numbers.

In Willacy County, Raymondville was up 14.19 percent and Lyford was up 39.10 percent.

In Hidalgo County, McAllen posted a second straight strong month in November with a year-over-year increase of 4.82 percent. Figures show that in October the city showed a gain of 3.18 percent.

The city was down for the year in 2017 by 2.48 percent.

Elsewhere, Pharr was up 14.04 percent for the month, Edinburg was up 8.49 percent and Weslaco was up 0.18 percent. Among the county’s largest cities, only Mercedes (down 10.03 percent) posted negative numbers compared to November 2016.

Cameron County

Monthly

HARLINGEN — Up 4.80 percent

SAN BENITO — Up 3.05 percent

RIO HONDO — Down 3.16 percent

LA FERIA — Up 6.97 percent

S. PADRE ISL — Up 0.27 percent

PORT ISABEL — Down 1.18 percent

LOS FRESNOS — Up 4.81 percent

BROWNSVILLE — Up 3.64 percent

Willacy County

RAYMONDVILLE — Up 14.19 percent

LYFORD — Up 39.10 percent

Hidalgo County

MCALLEN — Up 4.82 percent

MERCEDES — Down 10.03 percent

EDINBURG — Up 8.49 percent

PHARR — Up 14.04 percent

WESLACO — Up 0.18 percent

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