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What’s next for Branson, Mo. after tourism tax passes

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 4:50 PM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - As a tourism driven community, the city of Branson brings in millions of visitors every year.

”To do that we have to have way more infrastructure capacity than a town of ten to eleven thousand,” Jonas Arjes, Executive VP Chief Economic development Officer with the Branson Chamber and Visitors Bureau said.

Arjes says it would be very difficult and costly for people living in Branson to bear the full burden of those costs.

”That’s why this program is structured to be funded mostly by the visitors that come to enjoy all the things Branson has to offer,” Arjes said.

Voters overwhelming approved both Question 1 and Question 2 on Tuesday’s ballot.

”Question 1 is the 4% on accommodations, lodging, and attractions and then question two was a half penny on restaurants and food services,” Arjes said.

He said this program is a critical component to the engine that drives the tourism economy.

”The revitalization of 76 is a great example we have a community improvement district that was just approved to fund that project but what a lot of people don’t realize is that the water and sewer lines upgrades a replacements along that entertainment corridor is gonna be funded with these funds,” Arjes said.

Tourist Jerry Crockett from Tyler, Texas said he understands the need to tax what tourists spend.

”Well my overall thoughts is it’s a good deal and if it goes for infrastructure which is has in Tyler and they’ve spent the money wisely then we’re well pleased with it,” Crockett said.

Henry Buczynski from Ulysses, Kan. said he’s okay with paying a little extra on trips as long as the money is being used properly.

”Don’t use it for other things to put in your pocket use it for what it’s supposed to go for to do the roads and take care of things locally,” Buczynski said.

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