The chart below illustrates the dollar amount of sales tax collected by select cities in the Rio Grande Valley during the nine month period January-September 2017-2020.

The Dollar amounts are in millions. Each color in the chart represents one of the seven cities included in this analysis.

A study of the data predictably shows that McAllen is the dominant leader in sales tax collected among these cities. On the other hand, it is also apparent that McAllen has experienced a very significant drop in collections between 2019 and 2020 (-5.44 percent). While disappointing to McAllen’s leadership, the 2020 collection is greater than either 2017 or 2018 so that’s encouraging.

The point of this analysis is to demonstrate that similar conclusions can be reached regarding the other cities in this chart and the others that are not. It is more accurate to look at sales tax collections over a multiyear period rather than on a month to month basis.

So the data suggests that COVID19 and its impact on retail sales has not caused the lasting damage to the Valley’s retail economy that some feared. With three months to go in 2020, COVID cases in the area are beginning to decline and the Hidalgo County stay at home order will be ending soon.

So if we all do our best to shop smartly, remain observant of health concerns, and be respectful of others, we can begin 2021 with a renewed confidence in our Rio Grande Valley economy.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column was penned by Michael J. Blum, a commercial real estate broker in the Rio Grande Valley. It appears in The Rio Grande Guardian with the author’s permission. Blum can be reached at: [email protected]

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows La Plaza Mall in McAllen, Texas. (Photo credit: Simon Properties)

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