Between November 2016 and February 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy remained ahead of the same period the year before, up 0.63 percent, based on local sales taxes generated, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

 

For the month of February 2017, the city’s retail economy was slightly behind the pace set during the month of February 2016 – registering a drop of 1.08 percent – with almost all of the other Valley communities also reporting decreases in local sales taxes generated from the same month the prior year.

 

The year-t0-date figures, which under the reporting system used by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, begin in November of each year and end in October of the following year.

 

The amount of local sales taxes collected also helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends.

 

The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city.

 

The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

 

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

 

Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. are not related.

 

From November 2016 through February 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $6,888,933.94 in local sales taxes, compared with $6,845,130.80 for November 2015 through February 2016, an increase of 0.63 percent.

 

For February 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $1,543,532.91 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,560,406.24 in February 2016, representing a decrease of 1.08 percent.

 

In terms of local sales tax revenue for February 2017, McAllen led all major Valley cities with $4,220,301.45, while Brownsville was second, ($2,783,246.54), Harlingen was third ($1,790,066.39), and Edinburg was fourth ($1,543,532.91).

 

The sales tax, formally known as the State Sales and Use Tax, is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8 1/4% (.0825).

 

HOW KEY VALLEY CITIES PERFORMED IN FEBRUARY 2017 AND FEBRUARY 2016

 

All figures are based on sales made in February 2017 and February 2016 by businesses that report tax monthly, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

 

The local sales tax data is among the latest economic barometers featured in a detailed summary provided by the state comptroller’s office, which released retail sales figures on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

 

Among its many duties, the Texas Comptroller’s office is the state’s chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator and treasurer.

 

Based on the amount of sales taxes generated, according to the state comptroller’s office, the Valley’s major cities ranked accordingly in the following local sales tax figures:

 

February 2017 compared with February 2016

 

• McAllen: $4,220,301.45, down 6.95 percent compared with February 2016 ($4,535,857.56);

• Brownsville: $2,783,246.54, down 0.95 percent compared with February 2016 ($2,810,188.09);

• Harlingen: $1,790,066.39, up 0.84 percent compared with February 2016 ($1,775,004.22);

• Edinburg: $1,543,532.91, down 1.08 percent compared with February 2016 ($1,560,406.24);

• Pharr: $1,263,945.96, down 8.74 percent compared with February 2016 ($1,385,016.92);

• Mission: $1,088,753.10, down 1.33 percent compared with February 2016 ($1,103,534.50); and

• Weslaco: $914,705.80, down 1.63 percent compared with February 2016 ($929,872.70).

 

Also on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts reported $620.2 million in local sales tax generated in February 2017 – 4.9 percent more than in February 2016.

 

“The cities of Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin saw noticeable increases in sales tax allocations,” Hegar said. “The cities of Sugar Land, McAllen, Irving and Grand Prairie saw noticeable decreases.”

 

November 2016 through February 2017, compared with November 2015 through February 2016.

 

Under the reporting system maintained online by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, for all public entities which generate local sales taxes, year-to-date totals begin in November of each year.

 

From November 2016 through February 2017, based on the amount of sales taxes generated, compared with November 2015 through February 2016, the Valley’s major cities ranked accordingly in the following local sales tax figures:

 

• McAllen: $19,943,498.88, from November 2016 through February 2017, down 6.21 percent compared with November 2015 through February 2016 ($21,265,657.57);

 

• Brownsville: $12,089,022.63, from November 2016 through February 2017, down 4.03 percent compared with November 2015 through February 2016 ($12,597,685.15);

 

• Harlingen: $7,834,489.17, from November 2016 through February 2017, up 3.43 percent compared with November 2015 through February 2016 ($7,574,664.69);

 

• Edinburg: $6,888,933.94, from November 2016 through February 2017, up 0.63 percent compared with November 2015 through February 2016 ($6,845,130.80);

 

• Pharr: $5,451,228.69, from November 2016 through February 2017, up 1.54 percent compared with November 2015 through February 2016 ($5,368,284.62);

 

• Mission: $5,005,252.25, from November 2016 through February 2017, down 0.42 percent compared with November 2015 through February 2016 ($5,026,743.63); and

 

• Weslaco: $3,991,385.14, from November 2016 through February 2017, up 2.39 percent compared with November 2015 through February 2016 ($3,898,159.84).

 

For details on March 2o17 sales tax allocations, which represent sales taxes generated in February 2017, individual cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose districts, visit the Comptroller's Monthly Tax Allocation Comparison Summary Reports.

 

CREATIVE WORK BY UTRGV STUDENTS AND FACULTY HONORED WITH 27 RGV–ADDYS

 

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley students and faculty picked up almost three dozen honors for creative excellence at the American Advertising Federation (AAF)-Rio Grande Valley ADDY awards competition in February, university officials announced on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

 

The annual competition recognizes the work of the Rio Grande Valley’s marketing and advertising community in the areas of local media, including print, broadcast, interactive, out-of-home and public service.

 

The AAF provides professional level and student competitions. Gold winners at the local level can go on to compete at a district level, and winners there can enter the national ADDY competition.

 

“Joining American Advertising Awards is a precious chance for students to not only showcase their artistic talent and creativity, but also encourage students to explore their creativity in a way that will foster a lifelong love of the arts,” said Ping Xu, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, who taught many of the winning students. “It is our honor that our students’ outstanding designs were recognized by the advertising world.”

 

UTRGV STUDENT ADDY WINNERS

 

Gold and Best of Show:

 

• Jacqueline Maldonado – Words Do Not Define Us – Poster – Single

 

Gold:

 

• Melissa Buenrostro – Senior Exhibit Poster – Out-of-Home – Outdoor & Transit Advertising – Campaign;

• Alexandra González – Hello – Sales & Marketing – Stationary Package – Single or Multiple Pieces;

• Belinda González – David Bowie Art Nouveau – Poster – Single;

• Samuel Hernández – TechWard – Publication Design – Cover/Editorial Spread or Feature – Series;

• Eva Larraga – Sante Magazine – Publication Design – Cover/Editorial Spread or Feature – Series;

• Jacqueline Maldonado – Opinion of the President – Poster – Single; and

• Jessica Villanueva – GOTV Poster – Poster –Single.

 

Silver:

 

• Ángel San Agustín – Fashionista – Publication Design – Cover/Editorial Spread or Feature – Sports;

• Julio Aranda – Phubbing Campaign – Poster – Campaign;

• Megan González – Food Flight – Illustration;

• Ricardo Guzmán – Half a Dollar – Poster – Single;

• Mónica Lugo – Varte – Logo Design;

• Araceli Martínez – Mother Dear – Poster – Single;

• Arael Meza – Pixelin BRM-Liberarte Magazine – Sales & Marketing – Special Event Materials;

• María Ruiz – IMAS Logo Redesigned – Logo Design;

• María Ruiz – IMAS Redesign Stationary Package – Sales & Marketing – Stationary Package – Single or Multiple Pieces;

• Samantha Ruiz – FIANCEE – Publication Design – Cover/Editorial Spread for Features – Series;

• Victoria Suárez – Illustration – Illustration;

• Victoria Suárez – Logo – Logo Design;

• Victoria Suárez – Poster – Poster – Single;

• Jorge Villarreal – Saturated Analog – Illustration; and

• Mariana Zapata – The Land of Opportunity – Poster – Single

 

Brenda González’ Gold Award-winning entry – David Bowie Art Nouveau poster – went on to win a Silver Award at the regional level competition, which encompasses entries from all of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

 

See the winning students’ work here.

 

At the professional level, Xu was one of two UTRGV faculty members who also received RGV ADDY awards.

 

Xu won the following:

 

• Gold – AJGA GOTV 2016 Poster – Out-Of-Home & Ambient Media – Poster ­– Single Unit;

• Silver ­– Study & Travel in China, 2016 Photography Show Poster – Out-Of-Home & Ambient Media – Poster – Single Unit; and

• Silver – UTRGV Study Abroad 2017 Poster – Out-Of-Home & Ambient Media – Poster – Single Unit.

 

Associate Professor of Graphic Design Robert Gilbert, who taught some of the award-winning students, also won a Gold ADDY for “I Will See You Across the River” in the Out-Of-Home & Ambient Media – Poster Campaign category. Gilbert’s entry advanced to the regional level, where it won a Bronze ADDY.