Branson Downtown 081721.jpg

A photo of downtown Branson.

The city of Branson saw a downturn in tax revenues in the most recent monthly reports, but even with decreases compared to 2021, revenues were still near record levels.

Branson received $1,148,646 from the 1% sales tax for the month of June, a decrease of 5.8% from a record 2021. The June revenue is an indicator of the business conducted in the city in April, processed by the state in May, and then released to the city by the Missouri Department of Revenue. 

The amount is the second highest ever recorded by the city for the month of June. 

Discounting 2021, the previous high month for June was 2016, with revenue of $1,023,756, making 2022 the second highest monthly sales tax revenue in Branson history. The 2022 amount is almost $250,000 more than pre-pandemic 2019.

The city’s year-to-date sales tax revenue of $6,344,774 is 15% ahead of last year’s record pace, thanks to a normal level of January revenue and record revenues for February, March, April, and May. 

The city’s ½ cent safety sales tax closely mirrors the 1% sales tax. Both taxes are 15% ahead of the previous year, with $3,126,558 in the safety sales tax account, despite the month of June being 6.8% under last year at $566,960. The 2022 amount is $140,000 above the pre-2021 record month of June 2019.

The ½ cent transportation sales tax for June of $567,206 is also down 6.8% compared to the record 2021, but is still the second highest monthly revenue for June in Branson history, around $66,000 higher than the pre-2021 high in June 2016. The $3,137,352 collected in 2022 is 15.2% ahead of last year’s record pace.

The city’s tourism tax is down 7% for May compared to 2021, which is calculated on the month tax revenue  received by the city, meaning May’s revenue is based on sales in April. (The revenue amounts also include any additional payments from a business paying back taxes.) 

May’s revenue of $1,098,010 is still the second highest in the city’s history for the month. It is the only time in Branson history other than 2021 where May’s revenue topped one million dollars. 

A record January tourism tax revenue of $1,697,086, more than $500,000 ahead of previous record amount from 2021, along with record February and April revenue has helped keep the tourism tax 14.5% ahead of 2021’s record amount. 

Branson Mayor Larry Milton said he’s taking a realistic look at the revenue numbers, because the pandemic made 2020 and 2021 statistical anomalies.

“Our benchmark should be the 2019 numbers,” Milton told Branson Tri-Lakes News. “I’m hopeful we will fall between the 2019 and the 2021 numbers. The last normal year was 2019, and we have some pretty big hurdles to try and match the second half of 2021, when most of the huge increases in revenue took place. To continue to outpace or equal the 2021 numbers is going to be a task.”

In 2021, sales tax revenue over the last six months had five months with amounts over one million dollars, with September generating more than two million dollars, for the first time in city history. City revenues ended the year with more than two million dollars over any previous year.

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