McAllen sees three straight months of sales tax increases

McAllen has now seen three straight months of strong sales tax collections after more than a year of decline.

The city’s take for December was $6.9 million, 1.3 percent more than December 2016, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced this week.

Monthly allocations are based on sales made in the month 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.

McAllen took in 4.82 percent more in November compared to November 2016 and 3.18 percent more in October than October 2016.

City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez predicted at the beginning of 2017 that sales tax allocations would not increase until after the mall expansion was complete, which opened in November. Whether his prediction was a three-month blip or will continue to trend upwards remains to be seen.

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

Next door, Pharr continues to see substantial growth after being up 14.04 percent in October 2017 compared to October 2016. Pharr was up 9 percent comparing December 2017 to December 2016.

Pharr Mayor Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez attributed the upturn in part to returning Mexican trade.

“I think the whole region is starting to benefit from our trade partners now that the rhetoric has cooled down a bit,” Hernandez said. “Obviously, we need to secure our borders — no one’s in favor of brick and mortar with a wall, but we all have friends and family on both sides of the border.”

Edinburg was down 4.88 percent for December but up 0.51 percent for the year. Mission saw a minimal increase for December of 0.34 percent and was down for the year 3.77 percent.

Mercedes continues to see sales tax declines, down 7.95 percent for December and down 8.83 percent compared to 2016. Weslaco was up 1.29 percent for December and up 0.80 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.