City’s First Sales Tax Rebate Shows Increase

Los Fresnos business district helps the local economy. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

Los Fresnos business district helps the local economy. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

The first sales tax rebate check the City of Los Fresnos has received from the state comptroller‘s office shows the municipality is enjoying a healthy economy compared to a number of smaller cities in Cameron County.

The comptroller’s office has sent a check for $110,305 compared to $102,242 during the same period a year ago – an increase of 4.81 percent.

Although the tax allocation report is the first issued out for 2018, it actually reflects sales made two months ago, or for the month of November.

Nevertheless, Los Fresnos economy is on the rise and more businesses and homes are expected to open and to be constructed this year.

Juan Munoz, a council member representing place 5, said the city keeps growing.

“We are planning to annex more areas,” he said. “We are going all the way to FM 803 and to FM 510.”

City officials attribute the healthy economy to an increase in business activity.

Mark Milum, the city’s manager, said new mom-and-pop shops opened last year.

Mayor Polo Narvaez also predicted an increase in activity for 2018.

“We are not the bedroom community we used to be,” he said. “People are shopping more in Los Fresnos today and we are growing faster than the other small towns in the county.”

Talks of a HEB supermarket and Whataburger Restaurant planning to come to town have been going for years and city officials are confident it’s a matter of time before those two businesses make a decision.

The 4.81 percent increase in sales tax rebate put the city at the forefront of other communities.

For example, cities with about half the population of Los Fresnos like Port Isabel, Rio Hondo, Santa Rosa, Laguna Vista and Rancho Viejo show decreases ranging from 1.18 percent to 3.16 percent.

On the other hand, Bayview, or the smaller municipality in Cameron County with a population of less than 400 people, showed the biggest sales tax rebate countywide.

Bayview received a check for a little more than $800, compared to $620.27 a year ago – an increase of 35.42 percent – the state comptroller’s office report for January 2018 shows.

Brownsville and Harlingen show increases of 3.64 percent and 4.80 percent, respectively.

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