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Commerce Secretary: Kansas, Missouri close to ending ‘border war’

Here’s a more comprehensive story on the possible “truce” in the border war between Kansas and Missouri business. This article comes from the Topeka Capital Journal.

Kansas and Missouri are getting close to an agreement to end the “border war” of economic incentives, but still are working out how to do so without surrendering other economic development tools.

Kansas Secretary of Commerce Pat George said local and state officials from both sides of the border have been meeting to determine which incentive programs produce “net” growth and which result in companies moving across the border without much new investment or hiring. Three legislators, the mayors of Overland Park and Kansas City, Kansas, and economic development professionals from Lenexa and Olathe all have participated in the talks, he said.

“We’ve proceeded cautiously because we didn’t want to fix a problem and create a new problem,” he said. “We’re publicly funded entities and we want to spend the taxpayers’ money wisely. There certainly could be some that are not being spent as wisely as they could be.”

The difficulty is how to get rid of incentives that don’t produce economic growth without cutting into the states’ ability to woo companies that will make substantial investments, or to offer a reason to stay for companies considering relocating to Texas or Florida, for example, George said.

Read the rest of the article here.

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