Health Care District back on Hidalgo County Agenda

Prior attempts at establishing a healthcare taxing district have failed twice with Hidalgo County voters.

EDINBURG – A highly controversial subject is expected to be discussed once more if agenda items hold true at Tuesdays Commissioners Court meeting.  Item 8-A on the Hidalgo County agenda calls for a discussion over a “Health Care Funding District.” Previous attempts at creating at Healthcare (Hospital) District have failed twice with Hidalgo County voters, with the most recent 2016 Proposition 1 being rejected by 72% of voters. Continue reading “Health Care District back on Hidalgo County Agenda”

Edinburg Mayor and ECISD Board member clash over park project

Edinburg – Followers of both Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia and ECISD School Board member Miguel “Mike” Farias were treated to a tense but “respectful” exchange over the fate of an uncompleted park project.  Despite the respectful pleasantries peppered in their respective post, both sides accused the other of political posturing.

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2017 McAllen mayoral race had a 42 percent drop in turnout since 1997

Othal Brand Sr’s 1997 runner-up vote totals were greater than Jim Darling’s winning totals in 2013 and 2017.

McAllen – Around 88 percent of eligible registered McAllen voters were not moved to vote in last Saturdays mayoral election, according to the unofficial election results provided by the City Secretaries Office.  Ultimately, their passiveness proved costly to challenger Othal Brand Jr, who had spent nearly two times as much as the Darling campaign, in effort to convince McAllen voters to elect him over incumbent Jim Darling.  Darling was declared the winner of the highly contested race with a comfortable margin of 4,409 votes to Brand’s 3061 tally.  While other traditional media outlets were quick to congratulate voters that turned out, a lingering question remained.  How could a city of over 134,000, with approximately 66,000 registered voters, have a major election decided by a very few?  Since 1997, the City of McAllen as seen a sharp decline in voter turnout for local races.

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TIRZ: 100 Percent for 40 years

Guest Columnist: Fern McClaugherty & Richard Montesdeoca

Hidalgo County has approved an economic incentive plan that would return all property tax for forty years. The plan is referred to as a TIRZ (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) and is typically used by local governments to encourage a business to locate in a community. Its intent is to assist in reducing the start-up costs experienced by a new business especially if it will be located in a deteriorated area. This plan also requires the city in which the new business is located to continue providing public services such as police and fire protection for the entire period that it is not paying taxes. It will include the Bert Ogden Sports Arena financed by the City of Edinburg. The financing of this facility is for 30 million and for thirty years. Based on the interest rate of 4.5%, the total cost of the facility will be 65 million dollars. The sports arena is already under construction. Continue reading “TIRZ: 100 Percent for 40 years”

No Shame! Healthcare Tax Masterminds Meet in Edinburg

Edinburg – Today, 3 local Mayors and hosted a luncheon at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  Topic of discussion was how the new School of Medicine would benefit the health care industry in Hidalgo County.  However it didn’t take long until true motivations were revealed, and that being how wonderful a Hidalgo County Healthcare Tax would be on tax paying citizens of Hidalgo County. Continue reading “No Shame! Healthcare Tax Masterminds Meet in Edinburg”