DONNA, RGV – City leaders in Donna say they are thrilled to continue leading the Rio Grande Valley in the percentage growth of sales tax collections.

Ernesto Silva

In March 2017, Donna increased its sales tax receipts by 17 percent, as compared to the same month in 2016. Donna collected $256,196 in sales taxes for the month of March, an increase of $37,757.

Year to date, the City of Donna has collected over $1,045,431 in sales taxes. The collection translates to an increase of seven percent over the same period last year.

Looking at the City’s economic indicators, they all seem to support Interim City Manager Ernesto Silva’s analysis of the local economy. The City’s sales tax allocations increased by 24 percent in 2015 and by nearly 17 percent in 2016.

“Very few cities in the Rio Grande Valley, large or small, can account for such dramatic increases during the same time period,” Silva told the Rio Grande Guardian.

As in previous interviews, Silva largely attributed the increase in sales tax collections to an increase in international bridge crossings. A staggering three million people cross the bridge each year.

“We are extremely grateful for the tourists that visit us from Mexico and also for our Winter Texan community. Both groups have definitely had a very positive impact in our City’s growing economy,” Silva said.

Silva said that according to a recent drivers’ license plate data research, more and more shoppers from northern Mexico have been using the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge to shop locally. He believes some of this growth is due to shorter wait times than other international bridges.

Another reason for the growth of shoppers is the welcome they receive, the interim city manager argued.

“Well, we are a friendly community with many local shops that attract people looking for specialty items. We have also become the front door for Mexican tourists crossing the Donna International Bridge wanting to rest, eat, and fuel before continuing on to other destinations. We have become the welcoming city to over three million visitors a year that cross at our bridge,” Silva said proudly.