If you want to visit a national treasure then move Branson, Missouri, to the top of the list.   Country singers, acrobats, comedians and museums abound.  The locals are friendly and helpful.  It's a great place to bring your family, as it boasts award-winning venues, fabulous restaurants, world-class golf, fishing, and family friendly activities tucked among the leafy hills and picturesque beauty of the Ozark mountain range.  Choices for lodging are extensive.  Branson offers the gamut for your vacation headquarters, from affordable motels and discount-rate hotels to the opulent, yet rustic, ambiance of 5-star venues on one of the area's most popular lakes.  When in Branson, you have the choice of going economy or luxury, it's up to your personal preference and pocketbook.  Either way, you're going to have a wonderful visit.

Other than the expected crowds and traffic during peak season, is there a downside to this national getaway?  If you ask the locals, they might give you an earful about the entertainment tax.  In addition to the state and county taxes, Branson has an additional sales tax labeled as a "special" (aka:entertainment) tax that, although targeted toward guests and visitors, will still effect the local population's pocketbook.  With wages in the hospitality industry being on the lower end of the income scale and accounting for the greatest portion of the area's employment, an added tax is a burden for those who live and shop locally.

With data obtained from the online site Tax-Rates, below is the breakdown of the 2017 sales tax data for Branson, Taney County, Missouri:

State : 0.042250   County: 0.018750  City: 0.015000  Special: 0.020000  Total:  0.096000

Make plans for a memorable family experience--but be sure to count the cost of a higher sales tax.

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Brian Greer

Written by Brian Greer