Development

A.B. May plans to relocate from Leawood to Kansas City, bringing 165 jobs

Updated: 2013-06-21T02:23:47Z

By KEVIN COLLISON

The Kansas City Star

A.B. May Co., a Leawood-based heating and air conditioning service business, plans to relocate its headquarters and 165 employees to Kansas City with the help of tax incentives, the latest trophy in the ongoing economic border war.

The firm wants to spend $11.7 million renovating a vacant store at 7100 E. 50th St. as its headquarters, service and operations center, according to documents filed Thursday with the Kansas City Council. The 83,000-square-foot building was once occupied by a Dolgin’s Catalog Showroom.

A.B. May plans to relocate its 165 employees from its current facility at 2017 W. 104th St. in Leawood. City officials expect the company to grow to 295 employees within 10 years.

To facilitate the move, the City Council is being asked to approve up to $12 million in Chapter 100 bonds, which would provide a 50 percent tax break on real and personal property taxes over 10 years.

The firm also would receive $5.9 million from the Missouri Quality Jobs program over nine years and $200,000 in development tax credits.

If approved by the council, A.B. May would be the latest company to be lured across the border within metropolitan Kansas City by tax incentives offered by the states.

The practice has been criticized for sacrificing local tax revenues without increasing the net employment of the metropolitan area. The Quality Jobs program allows the company to keep up to 100 percent of their employee withholding taxes for a set number of years depending on the size of the firm. Kansas has a similar program called Promoting Employment Across Kansas.

Officials at A.B. May, which was founded in 1959, could not be reached for comment.

To reach Kevin Collison, call 816-234-4289 or send email to kcollison@kcstar.com. Twitter: @kckansascity

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