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Featured: Dr. Peter Dabrowski, Maestro of the Valley Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, was inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame at Hidalgo’s BorderFest. Presenting him with the honor was Miss Hidalgo 2016 Alma Pamela Niño. Dabrowski was nominated by the City of Edinburg and selected to the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame by the City of Hidalgo, Hidalgo’s BorderFest committee, and the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame Commission. Dabrowski is in his 15th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Valley Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he serves as Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Professor of Music, and Conductor of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Symphony Orchestra in Edinburg. He is committed to providing exhilarating musical performances and education in the Rio Grande Valley. The Walk of Fame celebrates life, achievements and significant civic contributions of outstanding men and women in all walks of life to the communities in the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

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Featured, from left: Hiren Govind, Chief Operating Officer, Qube Hotel Group; Mike Govind, Owner and Operator, Best Western Plus – Edinburg Inn & Suites; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; and Jacob De León, Funeral Director, Memorial Funeral Home, and Chairman of the Board, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo. During that evening, as part of the City of Hidalgo’s 2017 Borderfest, Mike Govind, a former member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, was inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Edinburg’s retail economy showed an improvement of more than 3.7 percent in January 2017 compared with January 2016, based on local sales taxes generated during those months, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The amount of local sales taxes collected also helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. For January 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $1,573,510.95 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,516,885.34 in January 2016, representing an improvement of 3.73 percent. Edinburg’s 3.73 percent increase was third-best among the Valley’s major economies, with Harlingen posting the top improvement, a 4.10 percent growth in January 2017 over January 2016. In terms of local sales tax revenue for January 2017, McAllen led all major Valley cities with $4,129,303.57. Brownsville was second, ($2,586,308.57), Harlingen was third ($1,769,340.94), and Edinburg was fourth ($1,573,510.95). The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

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Edinburg EDC: Retail economy shows continued growth, with January 2017 local sales tax revenue up by more than 3.7 percent over January 2016

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg’s retail economy showed an improvement of more than 3.7 percent in January 2017 compared with January 2016, based on local sales taxes generated during those months, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The amount of local sales taxes collected also helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends.

The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city.

The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

For January 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $1,573,510.95 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,516,885.34 in January 2016, representing an improvement of 3.73 percent.

Edinburg’s 3.73 percent increase in January 2017 was third-best among the Valley’s major economies, with Harlingen posting the top improvement, a 4.10 percent growth in January 2017 over January 2016.

In terms of local sales tax revenue for January 2017, McAllen led all major Valley cities with $4,129,303.57, while Brownsville was second, ($2,586,308.57), Harlingen was third ($1,769,340.94), and Edinburg was fourth ($1,573,510.95).

The sales tax, formally known as the State Sales and Use Tax, is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8 1/4% (.0825).

HOW KEY VALLEY CITIES PERFORMED IN JANUARY 2017 AND JANUARY 2016

All figures are based on sales made in January 2017 and January 2016 by businesses that report tax monthly, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

The local sales tax data is among the latest economic barometers featured in a detailed summary provided by the state comptroller’s office, which released retail sales figures on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

Among its many duties, the Texas Comptroller’s office is the state’s chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator and treasurer.

Based on the amount of sales taxes generated, according to the state comptroller’s office, the Valley’s major cities ranked accordingly in the following local sales tax figures:

January 2017 compared with January 2016

• McAllen: $4,129,303.57, down 1.80 percent compared with January 2016 ($4,205,224.36);
• Brownsville: $2,586,308.57, down 2.82 percent compared with January 2016 ($2,661,515.74);
• Harlingen: $1,769,340.94, up 4.10 percent compared with January 2016 ($1,699,631.03);
• Edinburg:$1,573,510.95, up 3.73 percent compared with January 2016 ($1,516,885.34);
• Pharr: $1,300,217.38, up 3.98 percent compared with January 2016 ($1,250,427.71);
• Mission: $1,123,407.13, down 2.52 percent compared with January 2016 ($1,152,543.83); and
• Weslaco: $880,548.11, up 1.38 percent compared with January 2016 ($868,500.36).

Also on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts reported $619.7 million in local sales tax generated in January 2017 – 5.8 percent more than in January 2016.

“The cities of Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth and Austin saw noticeable increases in local sales taxes,” Hegar said. “The cities of McAllen and Sugar Land saw noticeable decreases.”

November 2016 through January 2017, compared with November 2015 through January 2016

Under the reporting system maintained online by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, for all public entities which generate local sales taxes, year-to-date totals begin in November of each year.

From November 2016 through January 2017, based on the amount of sales taxes generated, compared with November 2015 through January 2016, the Valley’s major cities ranked accordingly in the following local sales tax figures:

  • McAllen: $15,723,197.43, from November 2016 through January 2017, down 6.01 percent compared with November 2015 through January 2016 ($16,729,800.01);
  • Brownsville: $9,305,776.09, from November 2016 through January 2017, down 4.92 percent compared with November 2015 through January 2016 ($9,787,497.06);
  • Harlingen: $6,044,422.78 from November 2016 through January 2017, up 4.22 percent compared with November 2015 through January 2016 ($5,799,660.47);
  • Edinburg: $5,345,401.03, from November 2016 through January 2017, up 1.14 percent compared with November 2015 through January 2016 ($5,284,724.56);
  • Pharr: $4,187,282.73, from November 2016 through January 2017, up 5.12 percent compared with November 2015 through January 2016 ($3,983,267.70);
  • Mission: $3,916,499.15, from November 2016 through January 2017, down 0.17 percent compared with November 2015 through January 2016 ($3,923,209.13); and
  • Weslaco: $3,076,679.34, from November 2016 through January 2017, up 3.65 percent compared with November 2015 through January 2016 ($2,968,287.14).

For details on March 2o17 sales tax allocations, which represent sales taxes generated in January 2017, individual cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose districts, visit the Comptroller’s Monthly Tax Allocation Comparison Summary Reports.

DR. PETER DABROWSKI, MAESTRO OF VALLEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, AND MEMBER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, EDINBURG ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, INDUCTED INTO 2017 RIO GRANDE VALLEY WALK OF FAME

Dr. Peter Dabrowski, Maestro of the Valley Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, was inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame at Hidalgo’s BorderFest.

Dabrowski was nominated by the City of Edinburg and selected to the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame by the City of Hidalgo, Hidalgo’s BorderFest committee, and the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame Commission.

Dabrowski is in his 15th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Additionally, he serves as Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Professor of Music, and Conductor of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Symphony Orchestra in Edinburg.

He is committed to providing exhilarating musical performances and education in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Walk of Fame celebrates life, achievements and significant civic contributions of outstanding men and women in all walks of life to the communities in the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas.

“A true concert leaves the audience and musicians on the edge of their chair,” says Dabrowski, who in such a way leads his concerts. His interpretations, imbued with great expression, provoke, intrigue and excite, creating much emotion throughout the audience.

Full of magnetism, charisma, and love for music, Dabrowski is a conductor devoted to his art. Described by critics as exceptionally talented, his artistic personality wins over both audiences and musicians alike.

Great partnership with the soloist and orchestral musicians characterize Dabrowski’s artistic work.

Musicians under his baton are creative, involved and disciplined. As a conductor he is able to convey his rich and colorful musical interpretations with authority and scholarship. The final interpretations are not only the result of rehearsals, but are also due to the tremendous level of energy and concentration exerted during the concert. Dabrowski unifies the intensity and many talents of the musicians into one orchestral voice.

Musicians enjoy making music with Dabrowski. His passion and musical sensitivity empowers the orchestra. His goal is to create an atmosphere within the orchestra in which each musician feels like an artist.

“I present attractive programs not only for the audiences, but, also for the musicians,” says the conductor, for whom the role of concert programming is very important.

Dabrowski is the Music Director and Conductor of the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale in Edinburg, and the Associate Conductor of the Chicago Chamber Orchestra. He also served as the Music Director and Conductor of the American University Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., the American Youth Concert Orchestra in Northern Virginia, and the Chicago Philharmonic.

He is in demand as a guest conductor throughout Europe and the United States.

He studied conducting at Northwestern University, the University of Utah, and the Warsaw Music Conservatory in Poland. He also participated in prestigious conducting courses at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, and in Budapest and Miskolc, Hungary.

MIKE GOVIND, FORMER MEMBER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, EDINBURG ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, OWNER AND OPERATOR, BEST WESTERN PLUS – EDINBURG INN & SUITES, INDUCTED INTO 2017 RIO GRANDE VALLEY WALK OF FAME

Mike Govind, a former member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, was inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame on Tuesday, February 28. 2017 at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo.

Govind was nominated by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce for his service and dedication, not only that organization, but also for his volunteer work on behalf of the City of Edinburg and other various organizations.

Mukund “Mike” Govind immigrated at the age of 18 from his birthplace of San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, located in the southeastern West Indies, to San Francisco, California.

(The countries that make up the West Indies are the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti. The West Indies are a group of islands in the Caribbean called the Greater Antilles.)

Govind is the owner and operator of Best Western Plus – Edinburg Inn & Suites.

During his 36 years in the hospitality business, he has always fostered long and loyal relationships with other hoteliers, bankers, business and community leaders. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and is the only Chair in the chamber’s history to serve two years.

He also served as President of the Kiwanis Club in George West, Texas.

He is currently a member of Hindu Temple Committee, the Edinburg Hotel/Motel Association, Dist. 5-7 Governor–Best Western International, Inc. and a member of The Texas Hotel & Lodging Association, a nonprofit trade association representing every aspect of the lodging and tourism industry, as well as Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

He is an incredible volunteer who works tirelessly and steadfastly to improve the City of Edinburg.

He takes his commitments very seriously, and never seems to say “No” to a worthy cause.

He and his wife Nimu have been married for 39 years and they are the proud parents of two adult offspring, Hiren M. Govind, Chief Operating Officer, Qube Hotel Group, and Priya Govind, and they enjoy spending time with their two-year-old grandson, Zaylen Govind. Their daughter-in-law is Dipa Govind.

Each year nominations are received from cities and chambers of commerce across the Valley, and then the inductees are recognized at the ceremony with a brick paver. For 2017, each inductee was presented with a commemorative plaque as a substitute since each honoree will have their name added on a wall inside State Farm Arena.

Hundreds attended the 2017 ceremony where Govind and 37 other persons were inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame.

“Recognition by the RGV Walk of Fame is an appreciation of one’s hard work and commitment to our community,” says Letty González, President of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. “Mike is a prime example of a leader and businessman who proves these qualities still exist, and will always be a foundation for success. His guidance has impacted the City of Edinburg for more than 25 years and will continue through his family for generations.”

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Ronnie Larralde and Irma Garza contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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