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Posted on: February 7, 2020

Branson Public Safety Sales Tax Update

Branson Logo City of Branson - NEWSFLASH

Branson residents passed a half-cent sales tax in 2017 to make the City of Branson a safer place by spending the money on public safety measures like updating and replacing old equipment and growing the police and fire departments. The City of Branson has collected $9,800,386 since it started collecting a Public Safety Sales Tax in April of 2018.

This Public Safety Sales Tax has allowed Branson Fire Rescue to purchase or do the following:

  • Salaries and benefits for 7 Fire personnel including another proposed 12 firefighters for the future Fire Station #4
  • A new 107’ ladder fire truck that the City paid $1.1 million for, saving the citizens close to $400,000
  • New equipment including portable radios for all fire personnel, thermal imaging cameras and new sets of firefighter bunker gear

In addition, Branson Fire Rescue is ordering new Outdoor Warning Sirens to replace dated equipment. The City has also been able to purchase land for the new Fire Station #4 in the 1900 block of Champagne Blvd. and will be able to build this new Fire Station with the funds from the Public Safety Sales Tax, reducing Branson Fire Rescue response times. The Architect firm has been selected and design work for the new fire station is in the works.

The tax has also allowed the Branson Police Department to purchase or do the following:

  • Salaries and benefits for 9 Police employees -- 8 officers and 1 crime analyst
  • A contract with Motorola for portable radios for all officers, in-car radios, body-worn cameras and dash cameras saving the taxpayers about $1.2 million
  • New equipment including a K9 vehicle, tasers for all officers and new rifle ballistic vests and helmets

In addition, the Branson Police Department has purchased land for a new police station at 311 Forsyth and will be able to build the new Police Station with the funds from the Public Safety Sales Tax. The Architect firm has been selected and design work for the new police station is in the works.

These purchases are a part of how the City of Branson is keeping its promise to residents to keep the City safe.

The City of Branson’s Budget & Finance Committee serves as the financial oversight for the City’s budget, which includes the Public Safety Sales Tax. The Committee is made up of two community members, two board of alderman members, the Mayor and the City Administrator. The Budget & Finance Committee meets and reviews financials for all City funds every month, including the Public Safety Sales Tax. Public meeting and agenda information for all City Committees, including the Budget & Finance Committee, can be found on the City’s website at http://www.bransonmo.gov/AgendaCenter.

After the Budget & Finance Committee reviews and approves the budget, including purchases from the Public Safety Sales Tax, it is presented, discussed, voted on and approved by the Board of Alderman at regular Board of Aldermen meetings.

“We are proud of the City for the way they have handled this Public Safety Sales Tax,” said Dick Gass, Chairman of the community group, Citizens for Public Safety Committee. “We started this community group for more oversight of the Public Safety Sales Tax, to ensure that every dollar of this tax gets used for what the City promised us it would. Promise kept. Our group meets on a regular basis and the City has been extremely open and transparent every step of the way. I am grateful this tax passed. It is giving our Police and Fire Departments the tools they need to keep us safe. I would like to invite anyone to join us at our Citizens for Public Safety Committee meetings. It’s a great way to see how well all the City Departments work together to keep our community safe,” Gass said.

The Citizens for Public Safety Committee is a local group of Branson citizens and community members and not an approved Standing Committee of the City of Branson.

You can find the complete, detailed financial report for the Branson Public Safety Sales Tax, including what all the City has purchased and how much it all cost, on our website at http://www.bransonmo.gov/299/Reports and clicking on “Public Safety Expense Report.” If anyone has any questions about the Public Safety Sales Tax, they can call the Branson City Hall at 417-334-3345.

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