Sales tax receipts take a virus hit

HARLINGEN — Another kind of coronavirus curve is just beginning its swing as sales tax numbers for February among the Valley’s bigger cities showed declines over a year ago.

Things are expected to get worse for cities dependent on sales tax for filling out municipal budgets, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reported this past week.

Overall, the state will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $701.8 million in local sales tax allocations, about 0.5 percent less than a year ago.

These allocations are based on sales made in February by businesses that report tax monthly.

“Next month’s allocations, which will mostly reflect sales made in March, will begin to show the impact of pandemic-related business shutdowns,” the Office of the Comptroller said in a statement. “The agency, therefore, expects local allocations in May to be lower, and June allocations will likely deteriorate further.”

Harlingen was off 3.08 percent from the previous February and Brownsville showed a similar decline of 4.32 percent. For the year, Harlingen is down 4.30 percent while Brownsville is up 7.18 percent.

Elsewhere in Cameron County, other cities all posted gains in February, including San Benito (up 3.43 percent), La Feria (up 9.99 percent), Rio Hondo (up 3.18 percent), Port Isabel (up 1.78 percent) and South Padre Island (up 13.58 percent.)

In Willacy County, Raymondville was down 9.97 percent over the previous year and Lyford posted a strong 53.17 percent increase.

In Hidalgo County, with the exception of Mission (up 3.38 percent), all of the big cities posted lower sales tax allocations for February compared to a year ago.

McAllen was down 4.02 percent (up 3.61 percent for the year), Edinburg was down 14.10 percent, Pharr was down 3.54 percent and Mercedes was down 5.32 percent.


City Feb. percent Year percent

Harlingen Down 3.08 Down 4.30

Brownsville Down 4.32 Up 7.18

San Benito Up 3.43 Up 11.82

La Feria Up 9.99 Up 0.99

Rio Hondo Up 3.18 Up 13.67

Port Isabel Up 1.78 Up 7.86

S. Padre Isl. Up 13.58 Up 8.70


Raymondville Down 9.97 Down 8.14

Lyford Up 53.17 Up 25.30


McAllen Down 4.02 Up 3.61

Edinburg Down 14.10 Up 4.16

Mission Up 3.38 Down 5.90

Pharr Down 3.54 Down 5.25

Mercedes Down 5.32 Up 4.33