Branson Leaders will pass a $70 million + deficit budget tonight which is the highest annual fiscal spending proposal in the history of Branson.
Branson Public relations Director Jerry Adams publicly stated when the first budget was proposed that the budget would be balanced.
In layman's terms, the budget is far from balanced. The deficit budget, more money being spent than generated is considered to be balanced according to city ordinance. Balance, as defined by city statute does not imply taxes spent are equal or less than taxes collected, but rather states that more money exists in savings than is being spent.
In other words: (Annual Incoming Taxes + Savings accrued )- (Annual Spending of Tax Dollars) = Balanced.
Prior to Raeanne Presley taking office the general fund savings reached $12,000,000. Currently the balance nears $3,000,000 and debate has ensued whether or not the floor should be lowered. The massive spending spree and perpetual deficit spending policies have abided for three years running.
The budget, which will be approved in hours was delayed due to Mayor Raeanne Presley's attempts to dishonor a contract with the Branson Airport.
Presley's extreme lack of integrity and promise to violate the terms of the agreement raised outrage by several local political entities including the League of Theaters, Hotel and Restaurant Association, Branson Chamber of Commerce and the Tri-Lakes Board of Realtor's.
Unique to Branson, the airport is the only international airport in the United States that doesn't take federal funds to operate. The Federal Aviation Administration's multi-billion dollar budget subsidizes air travel regardless of performance. While Presley has lauded the contract to National Press Outlets she has fought and budgeted $750,000 towards litigation including fighting against honoring the contract with the airport. Over the a three year period Branson's legal expenses have skyrocketed to $1.9 million.
Presley was on the Springfield/Branson airort, a competing entity when the contract was signed.
It is believed that the $260,000 is being set aside to make a payment to the airport after the budget was amended. The reduction of expenses includes an $150,000 for building demolition (which was never going to be used)and a political polling expense eliminated after protest from Alderman Cris Bohinc. Convention Center efficiency also helped decrease the expense.
Though not clear, the projected strategy assumed is that the $260,000 reduction is being used to pay 2010's debt that Presley has refused to pay.
Removing the barrier for past expenses not paid will reduce political pressure allowing the position of disregarding Branson's contractual obligation to continue with less public scrutiny.