Cameron sales tax numbers strong as Hidalgo falters

HARLINGEN — Monthly state sales tax distributions showed gains for most cities in Cameron County, but sharp drop-offs occurred in Hidalgo County where for months cities have been posting strongly positive numbers.

In Cameron, Harlingen showed a very modest 0.68 percent gain for sales made in September. The city remains slightly up for the year at plus-1.62 percent.

Elsewhere, Los Fresnos led the way with a gain of 26.05 percent over last September. Also posting positive numbers for the month were Rio Hondo (21.64 percent), San Benito (11.52 percent), Port Isabel (8.85 percent) and South Padre Island (7.79 percent.)

La Feria was the only one of the county’s larger cities to post a loss, down 4.76 percent.

The monthly state sales tax distributions are a gauge of the strength of a city’s retail sector. The latest numbers are based on sales made in September by businesses that report tax monthly as well as those which report quarterly.

Hidalgo County’s year-long run of strong sales tax numbers showed surprising drops for a number of the larger cities.

McAllen was down 1.02 percent, but still up 8.62 percent for the year.

Pharr was down 6.26 percent, Weslaco off 4.94 percent, Mission dropped 2.05 percent and Mercedes was down 0.41 percent.

Edinburg, up 2.77 percent, was the county’s only large city to post positive numbers for the month.

In Willacy County, Lyford posted an amazing gain of 70.1 percent for the month while Raymondville was down 28.43 percent.

Statewide, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts would receive $849.6 million in local sales tax allocations for the month, a 4 percent increase over 2018.

By the Numbers

Monthly percent Annual percent

Cameron County

HARLINGEN Up 0.68 Up 1.62

SAN BENITO Up 11.52 Up 8.76

RIO HONDO Up 21.64 Up 28.02

LA FERIA Down 4.76 Up 4.29

S. PADRE ISL Up 7.79 Up 7.33

PORT ISABEL Up 8.85 Up 6.73

LOS FRESNOS Up 26.05 Up 14.14

BROWNSVILLE Down 1.33 Up 3.79

Willacy County

RAYMONDVILLE Down 28.43 Down 0.31

LYFORD Up 70.01 Up 49.95

Hidalgo County

MCALLEN Down 1.03 Up 8.62

MERCEDES Down 0.41 Up 2.08

EDINBURG Up 2.77 Up 12.64

PHARR Down 6.26 Up 11.85

MISSION Down 2.05 Up 7.71

WESLACO Down 4.94 Up 4.71sssss

Source: Office of the Texas Comptroller. Allocations are based on sales made in September by businesses that report tax monthly and quarterly.