The transformation of a 302-acre plot at the western edge of Branson, Mo.’s Highway 76 strip into a mixed-use water park resort came one step closer to reality Monday night.
After hearing a pitch by developer David Cushman and his CP Branson team, an 11-member commission representing Taney County’s taxing authorities passed a resolution to recommend that a proposed $446 million water park and resort, Branson Adventures, receive tax-increment financing, or TIF, over a 23-year period, according to the Springfield News-Leader.
A TIF plan essentially means that the project’s property and economic-activity taxes can be temporarily discounted.
Branson has other attractions with zip lines, water parks, retail, restaurants and lodging that were built without blight tax abatement, attendees noted. Many questioned why a new attraction featuring similar amenities should receive public incentives.
Branson’s hotel industry openly opposed tax abatement for Branson Adventures.
The developer’s plan states that $229 million in net tax revenue is expected to flow to local governments over the course of the 23-year tax abatement plan. In 2042, the TIF plan would end and property and economic activity taxes would begin coming in at the full rate.
An overview of the project obtained by the Branson Tri-Lakes News portrays an ambitious plan to add more than 1 million square feet of building space to a parcel of land immediately adjacent to a 1,534-acre state conservation area named for Ruth and Paul Henning, creators of “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
Branson Adventures would have a 100,000-square-foot indoor water park and a resort with 350 guest suites, according to the overview. Other lodging options would be 215 cabins and 75 RV campsites, making a total of 640 units.
The park would have 55,000 square feet of outdoor water park and 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
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