Branson, MO — The City of Branson and 76 Entertainment CID stakeholders are pleased to announce a 94% victory approving a 1% sales tax that paves the way for the planned revitalization of Highway 76. The Taney County Clerk’s Office reported today that it has certified mail-in ballots from property owners in Phase 1A of the 76 Entertainment CID who voted to approve the sales tax. The retail sales tax is expected to produce approximately $400,000 annually and will help to support this very important initiative in Branson’s future, ultimately improving the visitor experience along Branson’s famous Highway 76.
Larry Schmitt, Chairman of the 76 Entertainment Community Improvement District (CID) said, “I am absolutely thrilled with this outcome and I remain grateful to the property owners who showed vision and courage with this vote. This approval is an important milestone being the second of three steps necessary to improve the safety, beauty and functionality of Highway 76 following the formation of the CID. The third and final step is to expand beyond Phase 1A with the annexation of the remainder of Highway 76. We’ve been hearing from a number of property owners outside of Phase 1A who are expressing their support and enthusiasm for the project, and I truly believe that same excitement resonates with stakeholders throughout the entire corridor. I’m optimistic that most property owners will show the same courage and vision as demonstrated by those in Phase 1A.”
The Taney County Clerk certified that 94% of the property owners who voted, voted in support of the 1% sales tax via mail-in ballots received in the Clerk’s office by 5:00 PM on May 24, 2016. This vote solidifies a sharing of the cost and responsibility for the revitalization. The public/private partnership steering this development required passage of the tax in order to complete the project along the entire five miles of the 76 Entertainment corridor. The next effort will focus on full annexation of this area to produce the revenues necessary to complete the $80 million-$100 million project.
According to Branson Alderman and 76 Entertainment CID Board Member Rick Todd, “Our goal with the 76 transformation has been to improve the safety, accessibility and attractiveness of Highway 76 for our visitors and the many establishments that serve those visitors. This project incorporates Branson’s natural and man-made features to create a more attractive, comfortable and convenient experience for visitors, while also supporting local businesses and encouraging new investment in our City. We’ve worked hard to carefully plan and execute this project based on feedback and recommendations from many visitors, citizens and business owners to ensure this transformation reflects a shared vision and supports tourism throughout the region.”
The 76 Complete Streets Plan includes the creation of a multi-modal corridor with wide pedestrian walkways, courtyards, landscaping, bicycle and wheelchair accessibility, an intelligent transportation and traffic control system, mass transit options, all supported by underground fiber and utilities. Stakeholders expect this revitalization to attract more visitors, encourage longer stays at 76 properties, support the success of existing businesses and influence new business development and investment along the corridor.
“To my knowledge, this is one of the largest public/private partnerships in the nation and represents the strength of this community as private sector investors work in collaboration with the City to create and execute such a remarkable vision,” said Bill Malinen, City Administrator and Secretary/Treasurer of the 76 Entertainment CID stated; “I am honored to serve a community that so easily unites to take the lead on efforts important to our future. This particular project will carry Branson forward, and will benefit the entire region. I applaud Mayor Karen Best, the Branson Board of Aldermen and all property owners who have taken the initiative to advance this revitalization project, most importantly achieving this victory to provide financial support to bring the vision to a reality. I look forward to working with property owners and celebrating their successes as we move forward.”
Gail Myer, Vice Chairman of the 76 Entertainment CID added, “This victory represents the shared vision of all stakeholders from both the public and private sectors to ensure that Branson remains a prosperous vacation destination for decades to come. This is truly a historic day for Branson.”
Branson Forward is a communications collaboration of public and private entities committed to the success of Branson revitalization efforts. A volunteer committee from City Government, the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB and private business endeavor to present a high-quality image and complete and consistent information on behalf of the community.
76 Entertainment Community Improvement District is a special district recently formed under RSMo 67.1401-67.1571 to geographically define the improvement zone, implement a 1% sales tax to fund the project, and complete annexation of the full District boundaries.
Located in Southwest Missouri, the City of Branson is committed to its citizens and those who visit, to ensure a safe and environmentally sound community. We work as a team to maintain and promote the growth of our City, and to provide professional, courteous service to all through fair and open communication. We look to tomorrow, remembering yesterday, dedicated to excellence today.
Cook, Flatt and Strobel is a full-spectrum civil engineering firm specialized in creating progressive transportation solutions for communities throughout the Midwest. CFSE is leading the Spirit of 76 Project Team, a group of nationally renowned planners and designers who are implementing Branson’s Highway76 project, one of the largest public/private revitalization efforts in the nation.