RIDGEDALE, Mo. – The Taney County Commission and Circuit Court approved a sales tax increase at Big Cedar Properties for road improvements.

The county commission said this is just the beginning of the large project. Big Cedar proposed a Transportation Development District (TDD) and Community Improvement District (CID).

“There will be a one percent increase on retail sales at Big Cedar Lodge and our related properties, where most sales originate primarily from visitors outside the immediate area. This revenue from the TDD tax will be used to help meet public benefit.”

Statement from Big Cedar

The change comes after many fans reported traffic issues as they attended the Garth Brooks concerts at Thunder Ridge Nature Arena Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

“This was not thrown together in two weeks and this wasn’t the ‘Oh, hey, we found out there’s a problem now,'” said Brandon Williams, Taney County Western District Commissioner. “We’ve got to come to a solution.”

The CID also includes a one percent sales tax increase. There are several proposed road improvements listed in the CID:

  • Widening Highway 86 from Long Creek Bridge to Highway 65 to 4 lanes
  • Widening Highway 86 from Entrance to Thunder Ridge to Highway 65 to 4 lanes and add a duel drop right lane on Highway 65
  • Adding a new interchange at Highway 65 and 86 and an overpass at the interchange
  • Adding a new roadway to Buffalo Ridge Boulevard and The Branson Airport

The CID proposes a five-year plan for all the improvements. The commission said at Tuesday’s meeting, there was also talk of the project being finished in two years.

The plans can be adjusted according to what engineers and MoDOT officials decide is best for the area, according to Williams.

“All these funds have to be used for public good,” Williams said. “So with the TDD and the CID, those taxes that are collected have to be used and utilized for infrastructure in the public.”

The district is set to function for the next 27 years.