Lawmakers and Businesses React to Nixon's "Border War" Speech

4 years 1 month 3 days ago Wednesday, November 13 2013 Nov 13, 2013 Wednesday, November 13, 2013 12:44:00 AM CST November 13, 2013 in News
By: Nick Thompson, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - Some Missouri lawmakers and Kansas City area business leaders are wondering how they should interpret an economic speech Gov. Jay Nixon delivered Tuesday, in which he vowed he had a plan to end a business "border war" between Missouri and Kansas. 

In recent years, Kansas City area companies have often made headlines for making the decision to jump or move parts of their operations across the state line. Often, businesses make the move because they were offered tax breaks.

In the speech, Nixon called for a temporary moratorium, or delay, to authorizations of discretionary state tax credits used to draw businesses to the Kansas City metropolitan region. 

Nixon said breaks are often given out to re-locate jobs across state lines and rarely lead to new job creation in the Kansas City metropolitan region. Nixon said when the state diverts money to providing incentives to keep up with Kansas, other economic development tools like education lose out.                                 

"Too often here in Kansas City, economic development tools that were designed to create jobs and generate real economic growth have the opposite effect - manipulating the market and hampering Kansas City's ability to compete as a region globally," Nixon said. 

Kansas City has grappled with this issue for a few years. Area business leaders drafted a letter in Feb. 2012 to both governors, asking them to end the border war. In May 2012, The Associated Press analyzed five years of records and found Missouri and Kansas combined to commit $750 million to bonds or tax incentives intended to encourage business to move to or expand in the Kansas City area.  The Associated Press found Kansas doled out nearly three-fourths of the incentives.

Nixon outlined a four-part proposal at the Westin Crown Center in the heart of downtown Kansas City.

First, he wants both states to immediately stop using discretionary tax credits that only serve to move jobs across state lines.

Second, Nixon wants the legislatures in both states to pass permanent legislation to make changes to tax credit programs that will better serve Kansas City.

Third, Nixon wants to discourage local governments in the area from using similarly inefficient practices.

Lastly, Nixon called for Missouri and Kansas to work together to leverage their combined resources to promote the Kansas City region as a whole.

Although lawmakers and business leaders agree the "border war" is a problem, some admit they were surprised by Nixon's speech and said the governor released few specifics.

Dan Mehan, President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, told KOMU 8 News Tuesday he was not made aware of specifics and was still trying to find what prompted the speech.

Pat George, Kansas secretary of commerce, told the Kansas City Star he was also caught off guard.

"We've been working with my counterparts in Missouri discussing potential solutions to the border war," George told the star. "It surprised me. We've communicated pretty well over the past year or so. We thought it might be a joint announcement."

Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Clay County, has been working on proposals to curb the use of tax credits in the metro. He used his personal Twitter account Tuesday to sound off on the speech.


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

Tax credits are issued differently in Missouri than they are in the Sunflower State. Kansas uses the Promoting Employment Across Kansas (PEAK) program to attract businesses and the secretary of commerce ultimately has discretion in whether the state will offer a company incentives after reviewing an application.

In Missouri, Lawmakers passed a bill this year to consolidate the Missouri Quality Jobs Act into the Missouri Works program. Businesses automatically qualify if they meet a set of requirements.

House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, released a statement Tuesday and questioned the Nixon administration's legal authority to make changes to tax credit programs.

"The answer is not to stop what we're working on and hand Governor Nixon the keys," Jones wrote. "The legislature has been working on fundamental reforms which will improve our economy while ensuring we are able to escape the cycle of job loss which has come about as a result of the border war, and we will continue with these efforts during the upcoming legislative session."

Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback also issued a release following Nixon's speech.

"In Kansas, we are actively working with our mayors and civic leaders to build consensus around a process that is fair and equitable and allows both Kansas and Missouri to attract and retain business," Brownback wrote. "In the past year, all the net job growth in the KC metro area has occurred on the Kansas side."

 

 

 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
NEW BLOOMFIELD - A two-vehicle car wreck Saturday left one dead and two others injured, according to the Missouri State... More >>
30 minutes ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – A six-year-old held a hot chocolate stand Saturday outside of a Hy-Vee in Jefferson City to help two... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Wyss Medical Foundation donated $2 million to the Missouri Orthapaedic Institute for the work of lead orthopaedic... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:05:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- On Friday, the Columbia Police Department inducted eight new recruits, the largest class of officers in years. The... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:03:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JACKSONVILLE - An estimated 400 people attended a wreath laying ceremony Saturday at the Jacksonville State Veterans Cemetery. It... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:31:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Graduation day is long awaited by many and Amy Kiso Bledsoe is no exception. Bledsoe was... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — As Missouri struggles with the epidemic of opioid abuse, no place in the state has been... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:10:14 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A furnace malfunction caused a fire in a trailer home on Pratherville Road Saturday morning. Gale... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:05:48 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — People returning to Kansas City after being released from prison will get a 90-day supply... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:25:12 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Firefighters responded to a shed fire off of Highway 40 near Rocheport Saturday morning. Boone County... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:04:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials with the University of Missouri-Kansas City say students will soon have access to state-of-the-art... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:16:45 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Cat cafes have popped up across the world in cities including New York City, London and Tokyo, and... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:36:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some Jefferson City kids are getting the chance at a Merry Christmas this year with the help... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:00:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed it has fired Trooper Anthony Piercy. KOMU 8 spoke to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - St. Louis officers arrested a suspect that was on the run in a duplex on Sears Court in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The application for the top education position in the state, Missouri State Education Board Commissioner, opened Friday leaving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:02:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
BLUE SPRINGS (AP) — A commercial real estate records company based in suburban Kansas City has abruptly shut down, leaving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department say a house fire that killed a cat Friday afternoon started in the kitchen.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
9pm 48°
10pm 47°
11pm 44°
12am 43°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld