A trio of Branson aldermen are among the six appointed to the Tax Increment Financing Commission by Mayor Karen Best Tuesday.
Commonly referred to as a TIF, the financing option has been used before by Branson to help developers fund projects in undeveloped or underdeveloped areas such as Branson Hills, Branson Landing and The Shoppes at Branson Meadows.
“We’ve had requests for TIF dollars from two different projects,” Jamie Rouch, finance director for the city said. “So we need to recreate the TIF commission.”
During a Branson Board of Aldermen meeting on Nov. 13, Best said Joe Lauber, of Lauber Municipal Law in Lee’s Summit, who is advising the city on TIF projects, informed Best it could be a problem putting aldermen on the TIF commission. Causing the board to request City Attorney William Dustin to seek a second opinion on the issue.
“In this process we have received notification from Joe Lauber that his recommendation is the three board members that I have recommended appointing to the TIF commission would be a conflict of interest,” Best said. “It’s not necessarily against statute, but his recommendation is for the three board members to not serve on this committee.”
Tuesday, Dustin reported his finding, as well as provided his own opinion, saying there isn’t an issue appointing alderman to the board under the current common law doctrine in Missouri.
Best’s nominations, which were approved by the Board of Aldermen in a 5-0 vote, include Branson Planning and Zoning Commissioner Michael Pinkley and Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Jeff Seifried for a two-year term.
Alderman Bob Simmons and Executive Vice President and COO of Earls Family Broadcasting Greg Slavik will each serve a three-year term and aldermen Mike Booth and Betsy Seay will each serve on the TIF Commission for four years.
According to Jonas Arjes, executive director of the Taney County Partnership, the TIF commission is comprised of 11 members: six selected by the city of Branson, two from Branson Public Schools, two from Taney County and one selected by five taxing entities which would be effected. The five taxing entities include the Branson/Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District, Ozarks Technical Community College, the Taney County Health Department, the Taney County Ambulance District and the Senior Citizen Service Board.