Business, City Leaders Hope Holidays Help Revenues

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MCALLEN - Sales tax revenue in McAllen is down $5 million.

Mexican shoppers aren't crossing the border as often, and not spending as much here when they do. Business and city leaders hope the downward changes in the next two months.

November and December are the biggest shopping months of the year.

Downtown McAllen business owners are hoping for an uptick of shoppers.

“My tenants are having a hard time so I’m working with them,” Monica Weisburg-Stewart said. She owns buildings downtown.

She's had several tenants close shop over the last few years

“I never had written a one year contract before. Which I’m now doing,” she said. “You’re willing to do things you would normally never do in order to keep things going.”

Sales tax across the city of McAllen is down $5 million in two years.

City manager Roy Rodriguez said the reason why is complicated.

“The Mexican shopper is coming across less frequently, and when they're coming with, they're spending less. So it has to do with what they're dealing with to get here, number one. And number two, has to do with the peso. Their buying power is just diminished by 50 percent,” he said.

He has hope the slump will soon be over though.

“We have been pointing to this month for 2 years. And that has to do with the expansion of La Plaza Mall,” he said.

The mall only accounts for about 20 percent of all sales revenue.

But downtown businesses have hope as well.

Much of their business comes from the bus terminal, where traffic is slow but steady.

“So you have a decrease, but they all renewed their contracts. So you have all these bus terminals, all the bus companies from Mexico all renewed their contracts. So there's faith of everything coming back,” she said.


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