HARLINGEN — Sales tax allocations to cities and other taxing entities as expected took a deep dive for the month of April, 11.7 percent down from a year ago.
The effect of the COVID-19 shutdowns and shelter-at-home orders for the month created the biggest year-over-year drop in sales tax allocations since September 2009 during the Great Recession.
Sales tax allocations are seen as an indicator of the strength of a city’s retail sector. The April numbers are based on sales of businesses which file monthly.
In Cameron County, the coastal cities of South Padre Island and Port Isabel saw the biggest declines due mostly to the temporary collapse of the area’s tourism industry.
South Padre was down 58.46 percent for the month and Port Isabel was off 21.20 percent from April 2019 numbers.
The two biggest cities in the county, Brownsville and Harlingen, saw declines of 20.20 percent and 13.73 percent. For the year, Brownsville is down 0.21 percent and Harlingen is off 5.96 percent.
Elsewhere in the county, La Feria was down 9.87 percent and Rio Hondo was down 1.01 percent.
Bright spots could be found in San Benito (up 5.50 percent) and Los Fresnos (up 14.15 percent.)
In Willacy County, Lyford posted strong numbers, up 28.28 percent for April, while Raymondville was up 3.85 percent.
In Hidalgo County, all the major cities posted single and, in some cases, double-digit drops for April compared to last year.
Mercedes was down 55.62 percent for the month, followed by McAllen (down 30.19 percent), Mission (down 9.60 percent), Weslaco (down 9.02 percent), Edinburg (down 6.84 percent) and Pharr (down 4.78 percent.
City Monthly percent Yearly percent
HARLINGEN Down 13.73 Down 5.96
SAN BENITO Up 5.50 Up 11.44
S. PADRE ISLAND Down 58.46 Down 15.14
PORT ISABEL Down 21.20 Up 2.08
LA FERIA Down 9.87 Down 2.43
RIO HONDO Down 1.01 Up 7.93
BROWNSVILLE Down 20.10 Down 0.21
LOS FRESNOS Up 14.15 Up 0.70
RAYMONDVILLE Up 3.85 Down 2.34
LYFORD Up 28.18 Up 27.14
MCALLEN Down 30.19 Down 3.72
EDINBURG Down 6.84 Up 1.03
MISSION Down 9.60 Down 5.27
PHARR Down 4.78 Down 4.45
MERCEDES Down 55.62 Down 10.56
WESLACO Down 9.02 Up 0.52
Note: Based on sales made in April by monthly filers.