Because Missouri’s limited economic incentives should be used to attract real growth to our region, the Missouri Chamber is touting a new law that seeks to end the economic border war with Kansas.
For years, companies in the Kansas City metropolitan area have been able to relocate from one side of the state border to the other and, in the process, access hundreds of millions of dollars in economic incentives. This investment of state resources by both Missouri and Kansas has netted little, if any, economic benefit for the region as a whole.
In response, the Missouri General Assembly passed Senate Bill 635, sponsored by Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Republican from Kansas City. This legislation would prohibit Missouri from offering various incentives to business relocating from the Kansas counties of Douglas, Johnson, Miami or Wyandotte to the Missouri counties of Cass, Clay, Jackson or Platte. The bill was signed by Gov. Jay Nixon today. It will go into effect if Kansas passes a similar bill.
“The funding that Missouri sets aside for economic development purposes is a valuable and limited resource. We need to ensure these funds are being targeted at efforts that truly contribute to the prosperity and economic wellbeing of our state,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber President and CEO. “The Missouri Chamber has lobbied for this bill for years. We give much credit to a coalition of business leaders in Kansas City that rallied behind this proposal and helped us explain the need for this new law. Now we call on our neighbors in Kansas to follow our lead and pass a similar measure so that we can focus on growing the Kansas City region as partners rather than competitors.”