Cities capitalize on Spring Break for sales tax gains

Spring breakers have a good time on South Padre Island in this 2017 file photo.

HARLINGEN — Spring Break was very good for business.

Local sales tax allocations in the Rio Grande Valley soared into double-digit gains for most of the big cities, led by phenomenal year-over-year numbers in South Padre Island (up 30.64 percent), Brownsville (up 22.26 percent), McAllen (up 21.04 percent), Edinburg (up 20.57 percent) and Mercedes (up 24.12 percent).

In fact, all the larger cities in the Valley showed positive numbers for sales tax allocations for April, with only Pharr (up 6.10 percent) and Harlingen (up 1.04 percent) failing to post doubledigit increases compared to last year.

The monthly sales tax allocations to cities by the Texas Comptroller’s Office are an indicator of the health of a city’s retail sector. This month’s allocations were based on sales in April by businesses which file taxes monthly.

Elsewhere in Cameron County, San Benito was up 17.27 percent for the month, Rio Hondo was up 51.70 percent, La Feria was up 18.01 percent, Port Isabel posted a gain of 18.40 percent and Los Fresnos was up 15.94 percent.

In Willacy County, both Raymondville (up 27.91 percent) and Lyford (up 37.96 percent) posted significant gains over last year.

In Hidalgo County, McAllen’s big retail sales month put the city up 10.62 percent for the year as the city continued its strong showing in 2019.

Another city posting a strong year-over-year gain was Weslaco, up 13.42 percent for April.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced this week he would send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $782.1 million in local sales tax allocations, 10.1 percent higher than a year ago.

rkelley@valleystar.com