Branson residents passed a half-cent sales tax in 2017 to make the City of Branson a safer place by spending the money on public safety measures like updating and replacing old equipment and growing the police and fire departments. The City of Branson has collected $15,487,261, through March 2021 receipts, since it started collecting a Public Safety Sales Tax in April of 2018.
The Public Safety Sales tax has allowed Branson Fire Rescue and the Branson Police Department to purchase a number of things that include salaries and benefits for personnel, a new fire truck, new life-saving equipment, new outdoor warning sirens and body cameras. These purchases are all part of how the City of Branson is keeping its promise to residents to keep the City safe. You can see these purchases outlined on the City’s website in the February 2020 City of Branson Public Safety Sales Tax Update.
In 2020, most of the capital in the Public Safety Sales Tax fund was placed on hold due to COVID-19. However, in order to uphold the City’s promise to keep our City safe with the Public Safety Sales Tax, the City still budgeted $250,000 in fiscal year 2021 for police vehicles and budgeted $500,000 to go to a future purchase of a new fire truck.
As a reminder, the City of Branson’s Budget & Finance Committee serves as the financial oversight for the City’s budget, which includes the Public Safety Sales Tax. The Committee is made up of two community members, two board of alderman members, the Mayor and the City Administrator. The Budget & Finance Committee meets and reviews financials for all City funds every month, including the Public Safety Sales Tax. Public meeting and agenda information for all City Committees, including the Budget & Finance Committee, can be found on the City’s website at www.bransonmo.gov/AgendaCenter.
After the Budget & Finance Committee reviews and approves the budget, including purchases from the Public Safety Sales Tax, it is presented, discussed, voted on and approved by the Board of Alderman at regular Board of Aldermen meetings. Additionally, each year, the city engages an independent auditing firm to ensure that all financial statements and accounting processes, including those for the Public Safety Sales Tax, are free of fraud or error. The most recent audit report can be found on the city’s website in the fiscal year 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The FY2020 audit is currently underway and as usual, will be presented to the board upon the auditor’s completion.
You can find complete, detailed financial reports for the Branson Public Safety Sales Tax, including what all the City has purchased and how much it all cost, on our website at www.bransonmo.gov/299/Reports under “Public Safety Tax.” If anyone has any questions about the Public Safety Sales Tax, they can call the Branson City Hall at 417-334-3345.