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      Valley cities see large spike in sales tax revenue

      Even on a slow day, Ricardo Portillo can count on customers stopping by his jewelry store at La Plaza Mall.

      "It looks like we TMre in the upswing," he said. It looks like business is good for a lot of different industries, not just the jewelry industry.

      Portillo added that he has seen a big increase in customers and sales over the past year.

      "Anywhere from 15-20 percent, that would be a safe figure," he said. I would love for it to be greater.

      His business is not the only seeing a difference, overall sales are up across the city.

      This month alone, McAllen will collect nearly $5 million in sales taxes, 25 percent more than this same time last year.

      "The last few years that had been suffering a little, we TMre glad to see a little bust come back up," Portillo said.

      He added that Mexican shoppers, traditionally his biggest customer base, are not the reason behind the jump in sales, at least not this time around.

      "I would say that the bulk of our increased revenue right now is form the local community, at least for our business," he said.

      Regardless of where they come from, Portillo said he is thankful they are spending more.

      With the holidays around the corner, he is expecting that spike in sales, to keep going higher.

      In the Valley, McAllen was not the only city to see big increases in their sales tax revenues.

      Brownsville will collect more than $2.5 million, while Harlingen earned more than $1.5 million during the month of September.

      In both cases, that is nearly 16 percent more than the previous year.