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Tax to Promote Branson Area Up For Vote in April

Image Credit- City of Branson
Image Credit- City of Branson

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/tax-promote-branson-area-vote-april_80488.mp3

The April 8th ballot in both Taney and Stone counties will include a measure to continue the local Tourism Community Enhancement District sales tax. KSMU’s Shane Franklin has details.

The TCED is a 1 percent retail sales tax, providing the money currently used to market Branson as a tourist destination. The tax provides over $7 million a year for marketing and promotional services with a 10-year sunset. The tax initially went into effect in April 2006.  This April’s vote is to extend the measure for an additional 10 years.

Jim Barber is the chairman of Branson Area Regional Tourism. He says voting to continue the tax will define the direction of the Branson area for the next 20 years.

“Of all of our sales tax this is the smallest, it’s only 1 percent, but it’s the only one that actually gives back to our community and our residents by giving us a mechanism to promote Branson as a destination,” says Barber.

Barber says this tax doesn’t just benefit Branson, but the entire region, noting the tourism generated by visits to area lakes.

A yes vote on April 8th will extend the current TCED sales tax until 2025. It will not raise taxes or add any new taxes.

“Saying No would mean that the funding mechanism that we have for our destination would go away. We would only have the portion of the Branson city tax that was previously used for tourism marketing, which is about $2 million a year,” said Barber.

For a more detailed list of taxed items and exemptions for the TCED sales tax, find the link on our website, KSMU.org.

Related: See our reports on the ballot items before Greene County and Christian County voters in April.

For KSMU News, I’m Shane Franklin.