Development

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon offers business border war truce, but Kansas has no plans to follow

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon spoke about Senate Bill 635 before signing it into law on Tuesday near Kansas City Mayor Sly James at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce in Union Station. The legislation is designed to end a long-running economic border battle between Missouri and Kansas.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon spoke about Senate Bill 635 before signing it into law on Tuesday near Kansas City Mayor Sly James at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce in Union Station. The legislation is designed to end a long-running economic border battle between Missouri and Kansas. The Kansas City Star

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has offered a truce to Kansas in the states’ ongoing battle to lure businesses across the state line with lucrative tax breaks.

Nixon signed legislation Tuesday in Kansas City that would prohibit Missouri from offering incentives to businesses that relocate from one of four Kansas counties to any of four Missouri counties in the Kansas City area.

But Nixon said the law can only take effect if Kansas takes similar steps.

Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George says the state has no plans to follow Missouri’s offer, but he says he’s willing to talk.

The two states have combined to approve hundreds of millions of dollars of tax breaks in recent years for businesses to locate in the Kansas City area. Sometimes, those businesses have moved only a few miles across the state line without much of a net gain in the workforce.

George says Kansas has offered to work with Missouri to curtail the movement of businesses across state lines.

But he says Kansas doesn’t want to interfere with border communities that have their own economic development priorities.

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