According to the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, many RGV cities saw significant increases in retail sales tax collections in 2015, and most area municipalities recorded modest but positive growth as the region experienced continued expansion of the retail industry last year. The biggest gainers include Pharr, Edinburg, Elsa, Donna and Hidalgo.
Pharr, Donna, Hidalgo, Elsa and Palmhurst, saw double-digit growth, according to 2015’s year-end local sales and use tax numbers released this month by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Elsa, Donna and Hidalgo, in 2015, recorded their full-year with a Walmart Supercenter, significantly bringing up their numbers.
“Year after year developers, national retailers and investors continue to find out that the Rio Grande Valley is a great place to do business and our cities are proving that,” said Julian Alvarez, RGV Partnership CEO. “Our EDCs across the Valley are doing a great job in attracting the right mix of retailers here that are meeting demand. These numbers are great news, and I am optimistic that this region will continue grow.”
McAllen continued to bring in millions from sales taxes even though growth was modest. McAllen, which, for example, does four times more retail business than Pharr, is still at the top with $62.39 million. Brownsville ($33.26 million) and Harlingen ($22.06 million) also grew slightly. Others that had notable expansions were San Juan and San Benito.
Alvarez added that the Valley’s lower unemployment rates, job growth and lower gas prices are all good for consumers, and those factors often spur more retail spending. Cities typically use sales taxes collected to pay for a variety of city services for residents.