“Yes” for Branson TCED Tax extension on April 8 is a matter of “heart” for an Ole Seagull

Those who are not interested in his rationale for voting “Yes” on April 8 Branson TCED Tax Extension should probably stop right here.

Over the past few weeks it was interesting to hear feedback on what the Ole Seagull had written about the Branson TCED Tax Extention, why he had written it or how he felt about it. Most of that type of talk comes from people who don’t have a clue about what they are talking about and are talking to a similarly minded “choir.”

He really doesn’t expect much from most folks, but from the publisher of the other local paper in town, Michael Schuver, he at least expected journalistic integrity which, in his opinion was substantially lacking from a recent column Schuver wrote and will be addressed in its entirety in the Ole Seagull’s first April column. One statement in the column however, has to be addressed now because it is simply not true and, outside of second hand “hearsay,” this is the first concrete instance the Ole Seagull could respond to.

Schuver said, “Groman says the TCED tax should go away, because in his opinion, the money has not been well spent in marketing Branson.” In an Ole Seagull’s opinion, that is a patently false statement. The Ole Seagull, as is the case with anyone who cares about the marketing of Branson, has never said that “the TCED tax should go away.”

On more than one occasion the Ole Seagull has cautioned that the only value of his opinions to anyone is to the extent they have evaluated those opinions and find them useful in their own decision making process. He did see an opportunity for possible marketing changes if the extension was defeated in the first vote on April 8 because there was at least three more opportunities to vote on the issue again before the tax would stop being collected on March 31, 2016. Wanting to see changes and the tax used more effectively is not even close to, what the Ole Seagull believes, is the deceptive statement used by Schuver saying that the Ole Seagull said “the TCED tax should go away…”

As he has continued to do his due diligence over the last few months it has become apparent to him that there is about zero chance anything will change even if the tax extension is defeated on its first, out of four potential opportunities. Further, in his gut he has reached the belief that if it doesn’t pass this time it increases substantially, for many reasons, the chances that the TCED Tax extension might not get reauthorized which, in an Ole Seagull’s opinion, would be catastrophic.

Those against a “Yes Vote” on April 8 appear to generally fall into three general categories; those who are just against any tax increase, those against the use of tax funds for marketing of private businesses and those, like the Ole Seagull felt initially, who want to see changes made and the issue put back on the ballot for the voters to vote on again prior to the taxes expiration on March 31, 2016. Those in the first two groups have their opinion and, from an Ole Seagull’s perspective are hopefully in the minority.

Of those he has talked to in the third group there has been a clear vast majority who have told him that even if things didn’t change when it got down to the wire they would vote for the tax extension because it was not the tax they were against just the inefficient way they believed it was being spent. At the end of the day, however, although there are a lot of things people want to see done a different way or different people involved in the process, it was a hodgepodge of opinions and ideas with no one person having an end game that they were committed to.

An Ole Seagull equates the effective “marketing” of Branson and its economic success to the “heart” and its importance to the body’s health. Too, he would compare the importance of “funding” for the effective marketing of Branson to the importance of the “flow of blood” to a healthy heart. There might be some discussion as to what ought to be done to correct a particular heart problem, but in most cases, there won’t be a lot of discussion about what happens even if the heart is repaired and there is no blood going to the heart.

Believing that to be the case and his increasing belief that if the TCED Tax extension doesn’t pass the first time that it substantially increases the chance that it might not pass at all, he is inclined to follow the advice of the great Wayne Gretzky who said, “”I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” For what it matters, it is an Ole Seagull’s intention to skate to the puck by voting “Yes” on April 8.

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