Tucked away in the Rio Grande Valley, Pharr, Texas is just a stone’s throw from the Mexico border. This town of nearly 80,000 residents is located just to the east of McAllen, a bustling city twice Pharr’s size. Residents enjoy high-performing schools, safe streets, and a low cost of living. But while there are big-city amenities nearby in McAllen, Pharr denizens also take advantage of the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, a haven for hundreds of species of birds and butterflies.
But it wasn’t all gray hawks and bluewing butterflies for the leaders of this city. Read on to learn about some of Pharr's challenges—and how Azavar helped solve them.
The City of Pharr has long been open to business development, as an international port of entry with proximity to regional transit hubs. To build on this potential, local leaders have long offered a variety of grants and incentives to attract new business. As businesses came, so did residents. In fact, Pharr has quadrupled in size over the past 20 years.
However, with this growth came growing pains. Pharr’s city planners needed to invest in infrastructure for its growing population and continue to administer critical services. But the sales tax revenues just weren’t adding up. Surely, there was a problem behind the mysteriously shrinking revenue and Pharr’s comptroller decided to dig in to figure it out.
Records of Sales Tax Data
In Sales Tax Revenue Recovered
Conducting a comprehensive sales-tax review requires significant effort. And smaller municipalities such as Pharr rarely have the staff time to allocate to a cumbersome project. The City's comptroller needed a reputable partner who could manage the process and return revenue to Pharr.
Azavar's 25 years of experience with local government helped define its Pharr strategy. Because of the city's location, so close to major municipalities, it was likely that some Pharr addresses had been incorrectly attributed to other communities.
Azavar’s seasoned team of local government and accounting experts dug in immediately and secured complete sales tax data from the State of Texas. Azavar employed a fine-toothed-comb approach to the 17,000 records it received and went to work identifying any potential lost revenue. As expected, the review found discovered businesses with incorrectly-coded addresses. The team fixed the issues going forth and were able to recover four years of back revenue, per Texas law.
The result? The City of Pharr received an immediate recovery amount of $11,000 in sales taxes.
While this might not seem like a significant settlement, these dollars will add up each year as the address errors were corrected. Plus, Pharr paid no up-front costs and didn't have to invest its own staff time on this cumbersome process. And this was just one revenue review. Consider all the different taxes and fees administered by a municipality. Azavar understands how to pore over municipal tax data through an analytical lens honed by decades of experience and deliver real dollars.
If you’ve experienced rapid population growth, annexed land, or watched business and industry development in unincorporated areas, your municipality likely has address issues just like Pharr. Contact our team today to get started on a 360 Degree Revenue Cloud, Azavar’s complete revenue-maximization and compliance program.
Watch our presentation, given by Ted Kamel, our Vice President in Tyler, Texas, about Azavar's proven record of maximizing revenue and compliance for dozens of Texas customers.