Branson Landing Master Lease (Full Document)

The document posted above was requested in 2005 by former Taney County Commissioner Ron Herschend. The request was denied.

Years later elements of the document have come into question.

As court action questioning the validity of the title re-enters the 38th Circuit court; elements of the master lease will face increased scrutiny.

A primary concern is whether the City of Branson had the capacity to enter into a contract with HCW.  If Branson didn't have the capacity to enter into the contract what does that mean for tenants ?

On the other hand, if the City of Branson did have the capacity to enter into the contract then Empire District Electric owns a great deal of land not reported to the State of Missouri which isn't being considered when rates are set...more to come...

Ironman event Sunday to temporarily close several streets and roads during 9-hour period Sept. 18

Motorists traveling in and around downtown Branson and north of Branson on Sunday, September 18 are urged to be aware of several street and road closings during the Ironman 70.3 triathlon. The road closures will occur periodically between the hours of 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. Ironman is expected to draw over 1,000 competitors who will swim, bike and run a 70.3 mile distance. Several thousand visitors are also expected in the Branson area to watch the Sunday event. Route 465, also known as the Ozark Mountain High Road, will be closed between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday. In addition, MoDOT will work with the Highway Patrol, Taney County Sheriff's Department and Branson Police

Branson Airport Report to City of Branson

Item 7 Branson Airport Status Report
Branson's business planners have long debated the arrival of Southwest Airlines in the backrooms. The effort  is now public as Southwest purchases Air Trans and as Jeff Bourke, Branson Airport's director addresses leadership at Branson City Hall.

Bourke touted the potential of Southwest Airlines and the impact of expansion on the Branson economy.

Branson Airport is unique in that it doesn't rely on federal funds. This is unusual as aviation is the most highly subsidized form of transportation in the United States sucking $9.8 billion dollars from taxpayers annually.

The Branson Airport has a high level of accountability as they receive funds on a performance basis. The city of Branson pays $8.24 for every passenger whose destination is the city of Branson; however, 40% of air traffic comes for locals. Local residents transport is not subsidized.

Branson's mayor Raeanne Presley has long fought against the airport and at the time the contract was signed she sat on a competing airport's board of directors. An effort to dishonor the contract was quickly thwarted by the community forcing Presley to honor the pay per performance agreement. Presley spent a considerable amount of local taxpayer funds to evade the obligation, but was unsuccessful.

Bourke gave a friendly warning to Branson's Mayor and Board of Alderman regarding the consequences of Branson failing to honor the obligation. While private funds continue to keep the airport fiscally above water, default due to Branson's actions will result in a major lawsuit which could cost the city millions. Bourke reminded the city that $160 million has been raised by private investors.

The report posted above boasts $75,000 in charitable donations  a 57% increase in seating over 2010, $35,000,000 in visitor spending and 973 jobs created  The airport estimates 124,703 enplanements  in 2011.

The pay-per-performance-contract demands $187,229 for eligible flights which occurred between January and June 2011.

Presley's large portfolio of pending litigation against the city of Branson and fiscal losses mean she lacks both the political and financial capital to legally fight the airport ensuring payments will likely occur without much fight.

Branson Independent's Curt Brown Pins Cheney as War Mongerer

Branson Daily Independent's Curt Brown tossed a hard left hook towards former United States Vice President Dick Cheney last week in a story titled, "Former VP Dick Cheney may be much of the cause of our problems.

Civilian deaths in Iraq are estimated as high as 1 million and the cost of war as high as $3 trillion begging many to question the wisdom of your strategy in the Middle East.

In Brown's article Cheney is charged with convincing former President George W. Bush to commit troops to war based on bad information.

Brown ends his editorial with:

Brown has served the Branson public with a left perspective offering support for a recent "Senior Tax" which narrowly passed with a levy currently set at .500. Brown has also voiced criticism for the US public policy regarding the war on terror; most notably in an article where Brown begged, "Who would Jesus Bomb ?" The 10 year aniversary of the 9/11 bombings created a surge of dialogue in the journalism community as the nation reflected on the last decade on the state of the world since the war on terror was innitiated. A broad collection of opinions ten years after 9/11 can be found here: 9/11 10 Years Later Research and Commentary

United Way Gives $15,000 To Branson Charities

The Tri Lakes United Way will gave  5 Branson charities $15,000. Beneficiaries include:
  • The Church Army, Inc.    
  • Table Rock Freedom Center
  • Jesus Was Homeless, Inc.   
  • Gift of Hope, Inc.
  • Christian Action Ministries of Taney County

(Multiple Agencies Reporting)

Mayor blocked from tax increase by Missouri Statute, restricted to 4% increase

An attempt to raise the city of Branson's property tax levy to (68 cents) per $100 of assessed valuation was thwarted by Missouri's Hancock Amendment. The alteration to the Missouri Constitution limits how much local government's and geo-political entities can tax.

Branson's levy is currently set at .5394 (53 cents) per $100 valuation. Total real property within the city of Branson is valued at $476,434,017 according to the Taney County Assessor's valuation minus Board of Equalization (BOE adjustment which dropped assessment by $15,644.The BOE reviewed more than 1,700 cases during their annual session which ended July 31st.

While the City of Branson's valuation dropped for the first time in 50 years; this is countered by a personal property tax increase over the last several years due to the construction of the Branson Landing and Branson Hills Tax Increment Financed (TIF) districts. While increases in property value are collected and reverted to paying off infrastructure debt; personal property taxes are unaffected in these districts.

Personal property was valued at $54,572,583 presenting an increase in money to Branson's coffers since the TIF districts were created .

Combined property taxes which can be levied to the Branson's leadership dropped $9.4 million.

Since taking office Mayor Raeanne Presley has taxed to the maximum allowed by Missouri law and enacted fee increases across the board.

Regarding the recent 4% tax increase the Branson Board of Alderman issued this official statement:

Aldermen approved a property tax levy of $0.5394 per $100 of assessed valuation in the city limits of Branson that will be collected in 2012.  That’s about 4% more than this year’s property tax, which had a levy of $.5186.  On a $150,000 home in Branson, the city’s property tax next year will be $153.75 compared to $147.80 this year. When the assessed valuation in the city decreases, the city is allowed to increase its tax rate to offset the loss in assessed valuation and the loss in revenues. The city’s assessed property valuation fell more than $9 million dollars from 2010.  "