The Ole Seagull

Why won’t Branson Aldermen state TIF intention in fire and police tax vote ordinance?

Posted in Branson,Government,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the August 20th, 2017

To absolutely no one’s surprise, the Branson board of aldermen voted to put a one half of one percent “public safety” (Fire and Police) retail sales tax on the ballot for the November 7, 2017 election. It was also no surprise that there wasn’t a provision in the ordinance stating that none of the tax would be used to pay off the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for “Branson Landing” and “Branson Hills.” (more…)

Will city of Branson publicly pledge 100% of new tax fire and police tax to them?

Posted in Branson,Government,Marketing by The Ole Seagull on the August 20th, 2017

Unless an Ole Seagull misses his guess, Branson voters will soon be asked to vote on a .5% “Fire and Police Tax,” for the benefit of our firs, police, and emergency medical providers. At first blush, it seems like a no brainer “Yes” vote. In almost any other city, but Branson, a “No” vote would be like voting against, “Mother hood and apple pie.” In Branson however, based on the city’s past actions, and its failure to protect the tax proceeds from TIF capture in its recently passed enabling legislation, that’s not the case. (more…)

Why isn’t the City of Branson’s management of “Spirit of 76 Project” being investigated?

Posted in Branson,Government,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the July 9th, 2017

When the Ole Seagull looks at the way the “Spirit of 76 Project” (76 Project) has been mismanaged by the city of Branson an adage comes to mind. “If it looks like a skunk, acts like a skunk and smells like a skunk then it’s probably a skunk.”

Over a year and a half and millions of dollars into the 76 Project, a news article, in January of 2017, reported that “Mayor Karen Best said, “Where are we and what are we doing?… the board wants to know what they can expect and when…don’t have a budget, don’t have a concept and don’t know what the expectations are.” Alderwoman Betsy Seay said that “she feels like they don’t know where they’re going, that they’re rushing forward…it’s like ‘putting the cart before the horse.’” Alderman Bob Simmons said that “he feels like he’s coming out of the gate for an eight-second bull ride and he doesn’t have a grip.” It just doesn’t smell right! (more…)

Are Branson’s elected and appointed leaders worthy of the tooth fairy’s help?

Posted in Branson,Government,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the May 21st, 2017

In an Ole Seagull’s opinion, “Absolutely not!” To use the dog food analogy one alderman used in responding to some of Branson’s shows when they asked for help, “He doesn’t like the ‘dog food’ they’re feeding to the citizens of Branson.” On second thought, considering the results of their actions, comparing them to “dogfood” is a disservice to the dog food industry. (more…)

Is the peace and tranquility of Lake Taneycomo about to be shattered by a 1500 HP Jet Boat?

Posted in Branson,Government,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the March 31st, 2017

The peaceful, quiet, and relaxing nature of Lake Taneycomo is unique. There’s nothing else like it in Branson for visitors to enjoy.  “Most come to Lake Taneycomo for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, leisurely boat rides, and to relax at one of its lakeside resorts. They do not come for ‘thrill rides” or the recreational sports that many go to Table Rock Lake for,” said Lamar Patton, the owner of Scotty’s Trout Dock. The quiet relaxing character of Lake Taneycomo could be about to change forever!

For at least the last two years, Branson Jet Boats [LLC] has been operating under the public’s radar, to bring a “shattering” new experience to the peace and tranquility of Lake Taneycomo. When it goes into operation, the Ole Seagull believes it will be with a 37 x 12 foot Jet Boat powered by three 400 HP Ford Predator Engines with an additional three 100 HP Hamilton Waterjets. The boats bench seating is expected to seat 60 or more, depending on size, and operate up to eight trips per day out of Branson Landing.

For what it matters, the Ole Seagull is not against the new attraction, per se. He doesn’t know enough about it, or its impact on the environment, the resort and property owners along Lake Taneycomo, safety, and many other factors, to either be for or against it. What he is against is the way something of this import could get this far without a public hearing or the opportunity for input from the businesses and property owners that will be impacted. (more…)

Does the “typical Branson show” and the Branson Airport have a lot in common?

Posted in Branson,Government,Opinion,Shows by The Ole Seagull on the January 23rd, 2017

At first blush they do, but do they at the end of the day? They both participated in a record breaking year for Branson tourism! Per the latest reports by the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB, 2016 was a record setting year, both for the number of tourist coming to Branson, an estimated 8.8 to 9.0 million, and “record high levels” of tax receipts. It was reported that “The City’s tourism tax receipts ended up 9.1 percent, with every business classification seeing annual increases” and that “theater tax collections were up 15.5 percent over the previous year.” (more…)

TCED involves state senator Phillips in Branson’s $525 million dollar scandal?

Posted in Branson,Government,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the January 11th, 2015

“Darn Seagull, isn’t the involvement of a state senator in a ‘scandal’ a little harsh for a Sunday morning piece?” “Perhaps so, but what else can you call what’s happening?” In an Ole Seagull’s opinion, using whatever definition of “involved” one wants to, Senator Don Phillips’ submission of what the Ole Seagull believes is a deceptive application to the Missouri Attorney General for an opinion on the Tourism Community Enhancement District’s (TCED) scandalous diversion of millions of marketing dollars to pay on Branson TIFs certainly involves Phillips in the board’s consistent policy of doing whatever is necessary to avoid litigation and drag things out to keep paying the Branson TIFs as long as possible. (more…)

No madam chairwoman, it was not “erroneous” and is “significant”

Posted in General,Government,Marketing,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the December 17th, 2014

At the August 28 meeting of the Tourism Community Enhancement District Board (TCED) the Ole Seagull, followed up on his March 27 presentation to the TCED which showed that the Missouri Supreme Court, in the case of “Jefferson v. QuikTrip,” resolved that case using a logic and statutory construction that had not been previously addressed in any of the prior legal opinions to the TCED that the Ole Seagull had seen or was aware of. He believed it provided more than an adequate basis for effective legal or other action to be taken that could stem the TCED’s diversion of millions of dollars to the pay the city of Branson’s TIFs and the loss of the hundreds of millions of dollars in economic and marketing benefit to Branson area shows, attractions, lodging facilities and businesses those marketing dollars represent. (more…)

2014 Columns on Branson TCED “Dicta” Fiasco and failure to take effective action to eliminate loss of Millions in Tourism Marketing Funds

Posted in Branson,Government,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the December 16th, 2014

1st Column – Published in Branson Daily Independent on Mar. 30, 2014

Is TCED Tourism Tax Board inaction costing Branson $1 Billion in marketing and economic benefits?

For what it matters, in his opinion, the TCED Tourism Tax Board’s proclivity of blithely taking millions of taxpayer dollars intended for Branson marketing and using them to pay the Branson Landing and Branson Hills TIFs has cost Branson area retail businesses, theatres, attractions, lodging establishments and restaurants about $88 million per year in lost marketing and economic benefits.* Over the last five years that’s (more…)

Does TCED and TIF Change the Difference Between “Before” and “After?”

Posted in Branson,Government,Marketing,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the March 9th, 2014

BRANSON, Mo., March 9, 2014 – In a September column the Ole Seagull suggested that, “As a condition precedent to the voters reauthorizing the TCED’s 1% Marketing Tax in April, one of two conditions should be met in order to prevent 50% of the taxes paid at ‘Branson Landing’ and ‘Branson Hills’ from being used to pay the city of Branson’s TIF debt instead of for marketing.” The alternative conditions were either the production of a Missouri Supreme Court Case saying that a new tax authorized by the voters after a TIF has already been put into effect automatically becomes part of the preexisting TIF or, alternatively, the TCED pledging to cease payment of any portion of the TCED taxes collected to the city of Branson for Branson’s TIFs until judicially directed otherwise. (more…)

Next Page »