The ticket reseller industry is a current hot-button issue in the city, and it was the No. 1 item on the city’s list of 2020 legislative suggested priorities.
“We made an attempt last year to address this,” Stan Dobbins, city administrator said. “Our city council worked diligently to try to bring about some change in the legislation at the state level regarding this item. We thought it was important at that time (and) we still feel it is important.”
Aldermen Kevin McConnell, Larry Milton and Bill Skains publicly commented on their support for the suggestion.
“One of the biggest challenges we see with the theater group is that folks are calling the town saying ‘I’d really like to go see fill-in-the-blank, and they do their little thing (this show is full) sorry I can’t get you to that one but I can send you to this one,” said McConnell. “They’re doing that and they’re intentionally doing it and so it’s $5 tickets that we’re getting taxed on and not 40 (dollar tickets). So then people spend 50 and go to the show and they get a cool slap in the face because they realize they overpaid for tickets. It’s a problem.”
“I also believe strongly that this needs to be a top priority for the reasons that Kevin mentioned, in addition to the financial impact on the city’s loss of tax dollars,” said Milton.
Ticket resellers buy tickets at a discounted rate from the theaters and then sell them to Branson visitors.
“They take a $20 ticket, buy it for five, taxes paid on five, they turn around and sell it for $19 or $20, there’s no tax collected, the state, the county, the city loses money. It’s an insane process,” said Skains. “It’s a mistake if we don’t take this on and allow it to continue. I echo my two fellow aldermen, I think this is a top priority.”
The legislative priorities are designed to let members of the Missouri General Assembly know about state legislation important to city leaders. Other suggestions for 2020 legislation are as follows:
- The city would like to have the state pass wayfare or use tax on a statewide level to help the entire state of Missouri with the economy.
- Establishment on a state statute level to allow the individual municipality to establish entertainment zones so the city of Branson can better control outdoor parties and control where events are serving alcohol outdoors, even on private property and mandate where the city can develop ordinances to have individual businesses comply with, so the city is aware of the events and have the proper security in place to maintain those events.