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Alton, Palmview show sharp sales tax gains

Sales tax revenue reports recently released by Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar show a sharp uptick in sales for the cities of Peñitas (+11.04%), Alton (+8.42%) and Palmhurst (+7.0%) for the month of July sales, reported in September. Mission showed a small 0.42% increase for the month, compared to last year, while McAllen showed a 6.54% drop.

Fiscal year-to-date figures through July show Mission’s sales grew only 0.14% compared to last year’s sales. The big winners thus far this year are Alton with a 23.79% gain and Palmview with a 20.56% increase. The City of Palmhurst is showing consistent growth with a 7.0% gain for the month and 7.63% for year-to-date.

20160923 TaxGainThus far for 2016, the City of Mission has collected $11,419,149 in sales tax revenue, compared to $11,402,398 for the same period last year.

Annual sales tax revenues for Mission has grown $2.05 million since 2010. Total revenues for 2010 were $13,088,821, compared to $15,134,622 for 2015, for a 15.63% increase. While the city’s annual sales tax revenue declined slightly (-0.82%) in 2015, Mission had a stron 5.95% increase the year prior.

Mission City Manager Martin Garza said there are noticeable trends that can be identified by looking at the figures during certain holidays or seasons.

“When it comes to sales taxes, it has a lot to do with the time of year.” In June for example, “Families are actually spending more money during the summer than the rest of the year when kids are in school and typically, between June and August, [revenue levels] remain almost the same.”

Alex Meade, CEO of Mission Economic Development Corporation said an increase in sales can be attributed to Mexican nationals visiting and shopping in our cities during the holidays.

According to Meade, the City of Mission always has a “healthy” sales tax revenue because of Mexican nationals.

“One-third of the sales generated along the border typically is attributed to Mexican nationals. If the exchange rate is good between the peso and the dollar, then more of them will come to spend their money here. If the peso is devalued, instead of coming three times a month, they’ll come once a month, but they’ll buy enough for the entire month. We saw this a lot at the height of the violence in Mexico. Border crossings were going down, but sales tax revenue was stable.”

This is true particularly during Christmas for both 2016 and 2015 fiscal years; December generated the most revenue, followed by March, then June is third (when kids are out school). Local sales tax revenue was not affected by the 2008 financial crisis.

Sales tax revenues for the City of Palmhurst reveal a continuum of healthy increases since 2010. Between 2012 and 2013, sales were up by 8.94%; in 2014, sales jumped another 13.71%; and in 2015, they increased by nearly 16%. For Palmhurst, the reports show that January, February, May and August generated the most sales tax revenue for the city for 2010-2015.  

La Joya
In La Joya, year-to-date sales through July 2016 were 1.58% lower than the same period last year. Comparing 2014 and 2015, however, La Joya experienced a 19% increase in reported sales.

The City of Alton has continued to maintain a gradual increase in sales tax revenue since the 2012 fiscal year. But last year Alton’s sales tax revenues climbed sharply from $650,930 in 2014 to $759,715 in 2015, producing a 16.7% gain.

Palmview, Sullivan, Peñitas
Year-to-date the City of Palmview has collected $703,135, compared to last year’s total of $583,184. Sullivan City’s sales tax revenue for that same period was $150,761 – nearly a 6% increase compared to 2015. The City of Peñitas has witnessed an increase of 3.54% YTD.

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