The Buzz

July 16, 2013

Cutting ribbons, not taxes

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon again denounces GOP tax cut package -- after cutting ribbon on new facility built with tax incentives.

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

In Kansas City on Tuesday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon

once again criticized the Republican tax cut package he vetoed last month as “risky” and an “experiment.”

He made the comments to reporters after helping cut the ribbon on the new $44 million Freightquote office building in south Kansas City.

The new building — now home to 1,100 employees — was lured from Lenexa, Kan., with a broad array of state and local tax credits, abatements, subsidies, and other incentives worth millions of dollars.

“We gave them every incentive we had,” one city official said after the ribbon-cutting.

Republicans, of course, have argued for months that cutting taxes is a good way to convince companies to build and hire in Missouri. The Freightquote facility would seem to be exhibit A in that argument: the firm moved into the state because the state and city dramatically cut the company’s taxes.

What’s good for Freightquote, they’ve suggested, should be good for workers too.

Wrong, Nixon told reporters.

Tax cuts should be pursued on a “specific project-by-project basis,” he said. “We need to come at this in an overall thoughtful way, not just throw darts.”

He then rejected tax cuts for all Missouri residents, or what he called an “across the board tax experiment.”

Nixon also said he would not try to match the coming campaign effort from supporters of the tax cut proposal, SB 253. Retired St. Louis businessman

Rex Sinquefield

has tossed $1.6 million to several groups supporting an override of Nixon’s tax cut veto.

“I’m not going to get into a check writing contest with a billionaire,” he said.

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