WESLACO, Texas – When he gives his monthly sales tax revenue reports, COSTEP’s Matt Ruszczak says he fears he is going to sound like a broken record.

That’s because the numbers he reports invariably show growth in the Rio Grande Valley and, more often that not, better figures for the region than the statewide average.

This is true again for the January 2022 report, which reflects sales tax activity in November 2021. While sales revenue collections grew 25.59 percent for the state as a whole, as compared to the same month in 2019, the percentage growth for the Valley was up 26.51 percent.

Ruszczak said there was a particularly strong performance in the major markets in the Valley: 32.1 percent more sales tax revenues collected in Brownsville, 28.01 percent more in Mission, 40.88 percent more in Mercedes, and 34.80 percent more in McAllen.

Ruszczak said the foundation is being laid for a great 2022. “Sorry I sound like a broken record,” Ruszczak said. 

COSTEP’s strategy

In this months’s Zoom, Ruszczak also discussed the current work of COSTEP, or the Council for South Texas Economic Progress. Ruszczak is the group’s Vice President for economic development.

Looking back at 2021, Ruszczak said: “We became very active on the business recruitment and business attraction level, traveled to trade shows, both domestically and overseas and engaging with folks in the mobility industry, particularly looking in the battery field.”

By the battery field, Ruszczak meant the electrification of mobility concept, such as electric cars.

“We had a very, very busy end to 2021. It has yielded us a lot of great contacts, a lot of great information, some interesting prospects,” Ruszczak said.

“We are now working those contacts, learning the lessons, and setting ourselves up strategically so that we can hit the road again for the second quarter of 2022, once again domestically and internationally.”

Ruszczak added: “We are really excited at COSTEP to see where this is taking us. We had a great initial response, great levels of interest to start off with and we are really excited about what 2022 has in store for us in our organization and, obviously for our region, by extension.”

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