City of Branson Budget Ammendments Reflect Mistatements of Branson Landing Debt, Increased Litigation and Transfer of Landscaping Fund
The Branson Landing debt which many believe was intentionally misstated for political reasons will receive an accounting correction Tuesday night. The Branson Landing currently receives 72% of Branson visitors making it the largest attraction within city limits.
The Branson Landing debt service will reflect a $450,000 revenue increase due to a lease payment made annually by developer HCW. The current budget reflects the income as part of the General Fund.
The second of three budget amendments proposed by Finance and Personnel Director Lori Helle reflects a purchase of land cit5ed as the "Owen Property". Assessed at $9,000 by the county a whopping $231,141.43 was paid to purchase the landlocked acerage. The citizens of Branson purchased the property from the General Fund as opposed to the Landscape fund, commonly known as the tree tax. The city of Branson charges a fee every-time a private citizen chooses to cut down a tree on their private property. The transfer is noted to have no effect on the overall budget.
The third and final budget amendment outlined in the Oct. 20, 2010 memo transfers $125,000 from income derived from the "Municipal Court". The city of Branson under Mayor's Presley's watch has been extremely litigious exceeding legal budgets of every prior mayor. An increase in arrests and tickets are providing an increase in revenue for the municipal court which is helping finance litigation against several private individuals and political enemies of the mayor. As a member of the board of directors for the Springfield/Branson Airport Presley was adamantly opposed to the city's efforts to support the new Branson Airport and is likely to continue a legal battle which will undoubtedly financially harm both the city and the new airport alike.
Prior to becoming mayor Presley was involved in legal action against the city with support from the League of Theaters, a local trade group and lobbying organization that has been at odds with the city over reseller margins and tax collection methods.