Edinburg’s retail economy during November 2009, as measured by the amount of local and state sales taxes generated by a wide range of local businesses, was down more than 13 percent from the same month in 2008, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

The latest figure represents the seventh consecutive decrease when comparing monthly figures between this year and during 2008.

For the month of November 2009, Edinburg generated $1,035,902.80 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,197,370.03 — a decrease of 13.48 percent.

In October 2009, Edinburg’s monthly sales tax figure was 18.46 percent lower than the same month in 2008.

In September 2009, Edinburg’s monthly sales tax figure was 9.95 percent lower than the same month in 2008.

In August 2009, Edinburg’s monthly sales tax figure was 7.77 percent lower than the same month in 2008.

In July 2009, Edinburg’s monthly sales tax figure was 5.39 percent lower than the same month in 2008.

In June 2009, Edinburg’s monthly sales tax figure was 2.46 percent lower than the same month in 2008.

The state and local sales tax figures mostly represent money generated in November, reported to the Texas Comptroller in December, and distributed back in early January to local governments by the comptroller’s office in the form of rebates.

The local sales tax is used to help pay for dozens of major city services, ranging from new streets to city personnel.

Local sales taxes in Edinburg are generated by the city’s 1 1/2 cent local sales tax, and the 1/2 cent economic development sales tax that is administered by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.

McAllen — the largest economic engine in South Texas — finally showed an improvement in November, following five consecutive months of decreases in its retail activities. For November 2009, McAllen generated more than $4.7 million in local sales taxes, compared with more than $4.4 million in November 2008 — an improvement of 6.2 percent.

In October 2009, McAllen’s monthly sales tax figure was down more than 7.4 percent from the same month in 2008.

In September 2009, McAllen’s monthly sales tax figure was down more than 14.5 percent.

In August 2009, McAllen’s monthly sales tax figure was almost 10 percent lower than the same month in 2008.

In July 2009, McAllen’s monthly sales tax figure was almost five percent lower than the same month in 2008.

In June 2009, McAllen’s monthly sales tax figure was more than 11 percent lower than the same month in 2008.

For the month of November 2009, all cities in Hidalgo County generated $9,695,377.85 in local sales taxes, compared with almost $9,766,932.57 in November 2008, a drop of 0.73 percent.

The county itself does not collect a local sales tax.

Comparable cities in Hidalgo County — with the exception of McAllen — also posted negative numbers for November 2009.

• Pharr’s latest monthly retail sales activities showed the biggest drop among major communities. For November 2009, its local economy generated almost $710,000 in local sales taxes, compared with more than $845,000 during the same month last year — a drop of more than 16 percent.

• Weslaco generated $649,274.07 in local sales tax activities in November 2009, compared with $705,091.00 in November 2008, a drop of 7.91 percent.

• Mission registered a 2.63 percent drop, generating $981,995.88 in November 2009, compared with $1,008,522.80 in November 2008;

Also posting decreases were the two key communities in Cameron County.

Brownsville, the Valley’s most populated city, saw its retail economy in November 2009 generate less local sales tax revenue than during the same month in 2008.

In November 2009, Brownsville generated $2,339,461.07 in local sales taxes, compared with $2,421,109.99 in November 2008 — a drop of 3.37 percent.

In November 2009, Harlingen registered $1,342,795.84 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,469,414.80 in November 2008, a decrease of 8.61 percent.

All cities in Cameron County generated a total of more than $4.3 million in local sales taxes in November 2009, compared with more than $4.6 million in November 2008, a drop of 7.59 percent.

Cameron County does not collect a county sales tax.

Texas reports 11.6 percent decrease

According to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs:

The state collected $1.65 billion in sales tax revenue in December, down 11.6 percent compared to December 2008.

December state sales tax collections and January allocations to local governments represent sales that occurred in November.

“Declining sales tax collections, beginning in February 2009, have now extended through December 2009,” Combs said. “As has been seen the past several months, collections are down across most major sectors of the Texas economy, including oil and natural gas, construction, manufacturing and retail trade. It is expected the double-digit declines in tax collections seen over the last half-year will first moderate with collections returning to growth during the first or second quarter of 2010.”

Combs sent cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts their first sales tax allocations of 2010 — $405.2 million, down 11.8 percent compared to January 2009.

Combs sent January sales tax allocations of $274.4 million to Texas cities, down 11.4 percent compared to January 2009. Texas counties received sales tax payments of $24.3 million, down 16.1 percent compared to last January.

In addition, $16.2 million went to 163 special purpose taxing districts around the state, down 11.5 percent compared to last January. Ten local transit systems received $90.1 million in sales tax allocations, down 11.6 percent compared to a year ago.

For details of January sales tax payments to individual cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose districts, locate the Monthly Sales Tax Allocation Comparison Summary Reports on the Comptroller’s Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/allocsum/compsum.html.

The Comptroller’s next sales tax allocation will be made on Friday, Feb. 12.

Legislative Media reports on major legislation that affects South Texans. For more on this, and related stories and photographs, please log on to www.EdinburgPolitics.com