Sales tax receipts for cities plunge in July

HARLINGEN — Sales tax allocations to cities, counties and other taxing entities were sharply down in July after a strong June, perhaps indicating a slowing of economic activity due to rising COVID-19 infection rates in the latter month.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Thursday he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $765.3 million in local sales tax allocations for the month, 4.5 percent less than in 2019. These allocations are based on sales made in July by businesses that report tax monthly.

Nearly all the big cities in the Valley showed substantial drops year-over-year, with tourism-dependent South Padre Island and Port Isabel showing the largest decreases for the month, 33.23 percent and 26.98 percent lower than the previous year.

In Hidalgo County, all major cities posted decreases in sales tax allocations from the previous year.

Mercedes was down 45.46 percent, McAllen was down 14.50 percent, Pharr was down 2.28 percent, Edinburg was off 2.06 percent, Mission was down 1.62 percent and Weslaco posted a drop of 0.31 percent.

Elsewhere in Cameron County, Harlingen was down 2.90 percent for July, San Benito was down 1.78 percent and Brownsville was down 8.23 percent.

La Feria showed the biggest gain year-over-year, up 13.72 percent compared to last July, while Rio Hondo was up 10.27 percent and Los Fresnos was up 2.17 percent.

In Willacy County, Raymondville posted a 7.77 percent gain over the previous year, while Lyford was up 1.15 percent.