On May 25, 2016 the Taney County Clerk's Office certified the vote declaring a 94% victory approving a 1% sales tax that paves the way for the planned revitalization of Highway 76. Mail-in ballots from property owners in Phase 1A of the 76 Entertainment CID voted by 5:00 PM on May 24 to approve the sales tax to support this very important initiative. The retail sales tax is expected to produce approximately $400,000 annually.
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.”
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 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 not only creates a more attractive, comfortable and convenient experience for visitors, but also supports our businesses and encourages new investment in our City.”
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 guests to stay longer, 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.
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.”