2017-03-15 / Front Page

City sales tax rebates drop by 40%, 8-liners and Wal-Mart closing blamed

BY TONY VINDELL
Reporter

The city’s sales tax rebates for the month of March dropped by about 40 percent and are down by 30 percent for the year, compared to a year ago.

City officials are blaming the downfall to the loss of Wal- Mart and, the proliferation of eightliners, eight of which are now in Willacy County.

The sales tax rebates sent to the city by the state comptroller’s office shows the city received a check for $83,105 for the month of March.

A year ago, it was for $139,458 - a decrease of 40 percent.

For the year-to-date figure, the city received $291,000, compared to $417,744 during the same period a year ago - a decline of 30.1 percent.

Mayor Gilbert Gonzales said the drop is attributed to Wal-Mart’s closing and now, to the eightliners.

“We are now seeing the result,” he said. “We got them out of here but they moved to Lyford.”

That city has four eightliners and Sebastian has three.

Raymondville has only one casino-styled parlor and there is one on I-69E just south of Sebastian.

City Manager Eleazar “Yogi” Garcia estimates Wal- Mart closing costs the city about $12,000 a month in sales taxes.

“Wal-Mart amounted to about 10-15 percent of the city’s sales taxes,” he said. “That is a pretty good size.”

But during Tuesday’s meeting of the city commission, he predicted that once the closed prison reopens on the east side of town, the sales tax will go through the sky.

Raymondville is one of several Rio Grande Valley cities seeing lower sales tax collections. Other include Brownsville and McAllen.

But in nearby Lyford, the sales tax rebates show small increases.

The city received a check for $9,883 for March, compared to $9,655 the year before - an increase of 2.3 percent.

For the year, the city has gotten $29,484, compared to $28,410 a year ago - a hike of 3.7 percent.

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