Missouri Business Headlines

Ending the Missouri/Kansas economic border war

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For years, Missouri and Kansas have been wasting economic development resources to lure jobs back and forth across State Line Road in Kansas City — with little actual job growth for either state.

Earlier efforts to address this problem failed to result in a cease fire agreement. However, there is hope that with new leadership in both states, the time is right to finally come to an accord.

Sen. Mike Cierpiot, a Republican from Lee’s Summit, is sponsoring a bill to revive the effort to have the states come to an agreement that stops incentives from being used for a short move across the state line.

“In the period from 2011 to 2017, the estimate is over $70 million of public funds have been used by the two states for relocating existing businesses across the state line with almost no new net job creation from either state,” Cierpiot said, during a hearing on his Senate Bill 182.

Angela Smart, vice president of the Hall Family Foundation, testified that both states were losing in the current border war.

“In metropolitan Kansas City, the states of Missouri and Kansas are waging a wasteful economic border war. We are using incentives to divide the region, not grow it,” she said. “Each state is offering significant financial incentives to shuffle existing jobs back and forth across the state line. Neither state benefits from this.”

Several major employers in the region, including Cerner, Hallmark, Burns & McDonnell and JE Dunn Construction testified in favor of Senate Bill 182.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry stands beside these employers and will continue to advocate for bringing the wasteful border war to an end.

“Job growth in both Kansas and Missouri is lower than the national average,” said Matt Panik, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs. “We need to do everything we can to attract new businesses to come to the region, instead of just reshuffling businesses across State Line Road.”

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