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Southwest Missouri News--Branson

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by Carol Harris, Branson area, and Mary Engler-Guccione, Joplin area

The city of Branson reported growth in the city's economy during the past few months.

?Tourism tax revenue for last November and December increased 8 percent over the same period in 1996.

?Revenue from the 1.5 percent city sales tax for the first quarter of the fiscal year (October-December 1997) was up by 5 percent over the same period in 1996. The city collected about $3.2 million in sales tax revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 1998, compared to slightly more than $3 million during the same months in 1997.

?According to the Branson Employment Service, unemployment in December was 5.9 percent down from 7.3 percent in December 1996.

New construction in the city limits for January was valued at $1.75 million, compared to $1.12 million in January 1997.

Permits for residential and commercial building construction in Taney County were down slightly in 1997 when compared to the previous year. The Taney County Planning Commission reported that there were 509 permits approved in 1997 for single-family dwellings, manufactured homes, and additions and miscellaneous buildings, such as garages and sheds.

The same type of permits given for 1996 numbered 645. Eighty-six permits were approved for multifamily residential and commercial structures in 1997, a decrease from a total of 111 of the same type of permits approved the previous year.

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