The Economic Development Department works to diversify Branson's economic base by recruiting new businesses to the Branson area, compiling demographic data about Branson, and being of assistance to local businesses in helping them expand.
Ever mindful of economic growth, city leaders and the Economic Development Department continually work to expand the tax base through the creation of new jobs and capital investment. Please contact the Economic Development Department if you are interested in learning more about what Branson has to offer. Working with partners like the Chamber of Commerce, and SCORE, we can help you make the decision to invest and be successful in Branson.
The city of Branson is located in southwest Missouri, 35 miles south of Springfield within the heart of the Ozark Mountains. This City is home to 10,520 (2010 Census) people, but hosts millions of visitors annually and growing. Branson, located in Taney County, serves as the employment center, service center and shopping center for a two county area with over 80,000 year round residents. Branson is surrounded by three prize winning fishing lakes. The city has an incorporated boundary of over 20.7 square miles. Branson has become the focus of international attention as both a major development area and an entertainment and tourism Mecca. The reasons are numerous and range from the scenic natural beauty of the area to the star studded theaters along Highway 76 with their line-up of major recording artists and family oriented entertainment offerings.
Situated within a day’s drive of 30% of the U.S. population, Branson and the Tri-Lakes Area (Taney and Stone counties) serves up to 70,000 visitors daily who pump almost 2- billion dollars annually into the local economy. Branson has over 40 theaters with more than 60,000 theater seats, 175 lodging facilities with over 18,000 rooms and 200 restaurants with over 38,000 seats.
Branson’s downtown Convention Center opened in August 2007, operated by Hilton Hotels. The Branson Convention Center provides a powerful incentive for associations, groups and companies to visit Branson. Many other hotels have facilities for meetings and conventions as well.
The more than 40 theaters in Branson host more than 100 shows throughout the day – breakfast shows, matinees and evening performances round out a full day of great entertainment. Country, pop, swing, rock n’ roll, gospel, classical and Broadway-style music and productions join comedy and magic shows to provide visitors a wide array of entertainment choices.
Branson’s newest shopping attraction, Branson Landing, opened in 2006. This $420 million, 95-acre development along Lake Taneycomo blends over 100 retail shops with dining, luxury lodging, river walk, town square, marinas, and nightlife into a dynamic, waterfront setting.
Branson is also home to two outlet shopping malls with dozens of retailers (Shoppes at Branson Meadows and Tanger Outlets), as well as the Grand Village and other unique shopping areas. Shoppers can find contemporary clothing, Ozarks crafts, gift items, house wares, designer shoes, luggage and a myriad of other treasures throughout the year.
Historic Downtown Branson is also a shopper and diner’s delight. The old-fashioned Dick’s 5 & 10, several boutiques and specialty stores combined with other eateries make the downtown area truly special.
The Branson/Lakes Area is home to three scenic lakes offering fishing, boating, parasailing, jet skiing, scuba diving and swimming. While the lakes all offer great fishing for novice and professional anglers, each has its specialty. Table Rock Lake offers world-class bass fishing. Lake Taneycomo, with its cold waters, offers superb trout fishing. Bull Shoals Lake is also an angler’s paradise especially for tournament bass fishing.
Lake Taneycomo under a morning fog
While Branson is small in population, it has all the accoutrements of a large community... and then some! Combined with robust economy, well-funded schools and lovely residential areas, you’ll find a community that cares about its neighbors. Although we can go on and on about this remarkable place, you really need to visit the area and see it for yourself.
|Median household income (MERIC)|
|Branson - 2000||$32,414|
|Branson - 2009||$40,847|
|Per capita income (MERIC)|
|Branson - 2000||$20,461|
|Branson - 2009||$24,393|
|Population (MO Blue Book)||1990||2000||2010|
|2009 Population by age in Branson (MERIC)|
|Persons under 18 years of age||19.0%|
|Persons from 18 to 24 years of age||7.8%|
|Persons 25 to 44 years of age||23.6%|
|Persons 45 to 64 years of age||28.0%|
|Persons 65 and older||21.6%|
|Median Branson age||44.6|
|2009 Population by race (MERIC)|
|Hispanic / Latino||6.3%|
|Real Estate (Census and MERIC)|
|2010 Housing Units||8,599|
|2010 Occupied Housing Units||4,688|
|2009 Owner-Occupied Units||44.7%|
|2009 Renter-Occupied Units||36.7%|
|2009 Median Home Value for Owner–Occupied Housing||$151,982|
|2009 Persons in Household||2.21|
|2009 Average Family Size||2.83|
|2009 Median Age||44.6|
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|One of Branson’s most valuable resources is its people. Branson area workers have gained a reputation for hard work, high productivity and low absenteeism. One factor contributing to our quality workforce is the educational background of our residents. Almost 83% of Branson’s adult population has a high school education or better. Furthermore, some 20% of Branson workers have a bachelor’s degree or better. An area unemployment rate that hovers around 8.5% creates a pool of available workers that is bolstered by surrounding communities.
Missouri has lower than average rates for unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance. At 6.25%, Missouri’s corporate tax is one of the Nation’s lowest. Learn more about Missouri taxes at the Missouri Department of Revenue website.
|Industry Employment (Branson, December 2010)|
|Professional (Medical, Finance, Tech, Legal)||10.7%|
|Arts, Entertainment & Recreation||12.6%|
|Accommodations and Food Service||43.2%|
|Cost of Living Index Comparison
Index (Mean = 100)
|St. Louis MO||106.2|
|Des Moines IA||95.1|
|Hot Springs AR||88.6|
- College of the Ozarks - Point Lookout, MO (pictured to the left)
- Ozarks Technical Community College – Branson Education Center
- William Woods University - Branson Center
- Missouri State University
- Drury University
- Evangel University
- Ozarks Technical Community College
- Webster University – Ozarks Regional Campus
- Baptist Bible College
- Central Bible College
The economy in Branson is booming, and there are an increasing number of employment opportunities in all sectors of the job market. Since tourism is the mainstay of the area’s economy, most of the largest employers are in tourist-related industries.
Herschend Family Entertainment – 1,993
Skaggs Community Health Center – 1,064
Branson Public Schools – 650
Big Cedar Resort – 550
Wal-Mart – 515
Taney County - 297
Wyndham Vacation Resorts – 272
College of the Ozarks – 266
City of Branson – 254
Hilton Hotels / Convention Center– 230
Westgate Resorts – 228
Hollister School District – 218
Chateau on the Lake – 204
Sight & Sound Theater – 204
Myer Hotels – 195
White River Valley Electric CO-OP – 165
Target Stores – 141
The Tracks Family Fun Parks - 120
White House Theater - 97
Ozark Mountain Bank – 88
Home Depot – 81
Branson’s strategic location in the center of the United States provides for efficient access to customers and suppliers across the United States.
U.S. Highway 65, a major north-south, 4-lane highway, runs through our city providing a corridor from Minnesota to Louisiana. Southwest Missouri’s primary east-west thoroughfare, Interstate 44, intersects with Highway 65 in Springfield, 35 miles north of Branson.
The New Branson Airport (BKG) opened in the spring of 2009. Located south of Branson and east of Highway 65, the airport has a 7,140- foot runway to accommodate commercial jets. This is the first new commercial airport to be built in the United States in over 40 years. The Airport is served by AirTran, Frontier and Branson Air Express, and Southwest Airlines.
The Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) is approximately 45 miles from Branson and serves all of southwest Missouri with 70 daily flights connecting to airports in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angelos, Memphis, Orlando, Phoenix and Tampa.
The Taney County Airport, a general aviation airport, is located in the center of the Branson attraction area adjacent to the College of the Ozarks Campus.
Driving Distances to Major Metro Areas
The Branson area is serviced by two electric utility providers: (1) city - franchised, investor-owned Empire District Electric Company; (2) a cooperative - White River Valley Electric Cooperative.
Summit Natural Gas Summit Natural Gas of Missouri, Inc., formerly known as Missouri Gas Utility and Southern Missouri Natural Gas, provides natural gas service to customers in portions of
Northwestern, Southwestern, and Central Missouri. Summit Natural Gas currently serves over 11,000 customers and continues to add areas that currently are not served by a natural gas utility. Please contact us at our local office in Hollister via phone (800-927-0787) or thru their website to inquire about obtaining lower cost, efficient natural gas. Natural Gas is abundant, convenient, economical and safe.
Water and Sewer
The City of Branson owns and operates the water and sewer utilities within the city limits. With two water treatment plants and two wastewater treatment plants, the city has the capacity to keep pace with the growth of the city for years to come.
Branson is serviced by local telephone provider CenturyLink and most national wireless service alternatives.
The value of new construction in the city for 2006 set an all-time record. Since the opening of the $420 million Branson Landing along the lakefront in 2005, a domino effect has occurred as developers, investors and businesses now want to be a part of the increased national attention and capture the additional visitors that the waterfront project has generated. This kind of growth and enhanced economic activity benefits the community by providing greater business opportunities, more employment prospects for residents, a higher standard of living for citizens, and even more reasons for people to visit Branson.
Some of the projects generated by or substantially assisted through the city’s economic development efforts included:
- Branson's newest shopping attraction, Branson Landing. This $420 million, 95-acre development along Lake Taneycomo blends over 100 retail shops with dining, luxury lodging, river walk, town square, marinas, and nightlife into a dynamic, waterfront setting.
- The 2,000 seat Sight and Sound Theater that features elaborate productions based on Biblical stories.
- Branson Hills Plaza that brought the first Home Depot, Target, Kohl’s, Wal-Mart Supercenter and TJ Maxx stores to Branson
- Branson Commerce Park, the city’s first industrial park that includes light industrial, office and residential units on 300 acres.
- Branson Convention Center and Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel that features a 220,000 square foot convention center with a 47,000 square foot exhibition hall and adjacent 293 room hotel.
Retail Trade “Pull Factor”
According to the State of Missouri Retail Trade Analysis, Taney County has the highest “Pull Factor” of any county in Missouri. This is an indicator of the performance of the retail trade sector.
“A retail trade pull factor greater than one indicates either a gain in customers from other counties or that residents spent more on retail goods than the state average. A retail trade pull factor less than one indicates residents either spent less than their state counterparts or residents purchased more goods outside their county. A retail trade pull factor of one indicates that the county is capturing all the retail trade in the local market or the local residents are spending exactly the same amount on retail sales as the state average.” (Retail Trade Analysis, p.5)
According to the 2007 Survey, only 19 of the 114 Missouri Counties had a Pull Factor of greater than 1 – indicating that these counties are regional retail destinations. Branson was the only county to be greater than 2 with a Pull Factor of 2.33. From 2004-2007, Taney County showed positive growth in Pull Factor Change, and in Market Share Change, and showed more than 25% growth in Total Retail Sales and Trade Area Capture.
The report shows that Taney County showed a “Large Gain” in the following retail sectors: Apparel, Automotive, Building Material, Eating and Drinking, Food, Furniture, Miscellaneous, General Merchandise. Taney County was the only Missouri County to show a “Large Gain” in all 8 studied categories.
The City of Branson recorded 74% growth during the past 2010 census. They City grew from 6,050 in 2000 to 10,520 in 2010. Taney County (now 51,675) was the 4th fastest-growing county in the State of Missouri during the 2000-2010 decade. Christian County (adjacent to the North and now 77,422) was the fastest growing Missouri County with 141% growth between 2000 and 2030 (MERIC). Taney and Stone Counties are projected to grow from a population of 68,361 in 2000 to 108,387 in 2030.
Another measure of Population Growth is the enrollment in local schools. Branson Schools have seen consistently increasing enrollment, showing over 50% increased each of the last two decades. Despite this meteoric growth rate, Branson maintains some of the best school test scores in the State of Missouri. The Branson School District consistently achieves higher graduation rates and ACT scores than the State Average, and sends over 75% of their students to College.
Stone County is among the top counties in Missouri for longest life expectancy. This is 74.6 Years for males, and 80.6 years for females. This beats the Missouri average by a year and a half. Taney County is also in the top 25.
Corporate Income Taxes
The tax rate for corporations is 6.25% applied to Missouri taxable income. In addition, Missouri allows 50% of federal income tax payments to be deducted before computing taxable income. Using the deduction, a corporation with a taxable income of $1 million would have a Missouri effective tax rate of only 5.2%.
For corporations conducting business both inside and outside Missouri, only income earned in Missouri is taxed. Two allocation options are offered for calculating this income: 1) a single-factor formula based on sales, or 2) a three-factor formula based on property, payroll, and sales. Missouri is the only state that permits companies to choose the formula that results in the lesser corporate income tax liability. In addition, Missouri has not adopted unitary tax assessment in computing corporate income tax liability.
Also, in April 2011, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation that will eliminate the Missouri Corporate Franchise Tax. Read more on the Governor’s website.
Certain tax credits may apply. For more information about the incentives offered by the state of Missouri, visit the Missouri Department of Economic Development at www.ded.mo.gov
The city of Branson has a general sales tax on retail sales plus a tourism tax on tourism related businesses like hotels, attractions and restaurants. Two of Branson’s major shopping centers, Branson Landing and Branson Hills, have special improvement district sales taxes. Click here for a complete sales tax chart.
Click here to see recent reports of local sales tax and tourism tax collections, as well as other city budgets, surveys and financial reports.
|Commercial and industrial real property is assessed at 32% of fair market value.|
|Residential property is assessed at 19% of fair market value.|
|Taney County tax levies per hundred dollars on total assessed valuation.|
|Branson R-4 Schools||3.45|
|Taney Co. Health||.1404|
|Taney Co. Handicapped||.0907|
|City of Branson||.5155|
|State of Missouri||.0300|
Residential example: $200,000 home x 19% = $38,000 assessed value, divided by 100 = $380 x 4.2266 (total mill levy) = $1,606.11 total property tax within the city of Branson.
The City of Branson works with many regional partners to create a vibrant economic climate in the Ozarks. From the Counties and Schools to the regional organizations that help us share information, we owe our success to many of our regional partners. Please click on the links below to learn more.
Local and Regional Partners
- City of Branson
- Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Hollister Area Chamber of Commerce
- Table Rock Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
- Taney County, MO – Eastern side of the Branson Lakes Area, including the City of Branson
- Stone County, MO – Western side of the Branson Lakes Area
- City of Hollister, MO
- City of Branson West, MO
- City of Forsyth, MO
- Ozarks Regional Economic Partnership (OREP)
- SCORE – Counselors to America’s Small Business
- Branson Commerce Park – Branson’s new 200 Acre Business Park
- The Mountain Data Center – Branson’s High Tech data bunker
- Branson Airport
- Skaggs Community Health Center
- Branson School District
- Hollister School District
- Forsyth School District
- Reeds Spring School District
- College of the Ozarks
- Ozarks Technical Community College
- State of Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED)
- Missouri Career Source
- Small Business Administration
- Small Business Development Center
- Missouri Complete Count Committee – 2010 Census Information
- The Missouri Partnership
- Location One Information System - Property database
- Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC)
- 2000 Census
- Springfield Chamber Regional Competitive Assessment
- U.S. Representative Billy Long - 7th Congressional District
- Missouri State Representative Don Phillips– District 62
- Missouri State Representative Lyle Rowland- District 143