The futility of metro area cities using public money to lure companies back and forth across the state line has been well documented for years. Companies move, but few workers do, and there’s no net gain for the area.
“Our citizens have wasted tens of millions of dollars putting up with this process,” the Jackson County Legislature’s chief lobbyist, Fred Dreiling, told legislators this week.
Some of that might be coming to an end. State Sen. Mike Cierpiot, R-Lee’s Summit, sponsored a bill in Jefferson City to end incentives for companies in three Kansas counties – Johnson, Wyandotte and Miami – that are moving to any of four Missouri counties – Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass.
It passed last week but only takes effect if Kansas reciprocates.
Dreiling said Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has the authority to rescind the incentives with an executive order, and he said he expects she will.
This would be a welcome end to an illogical set of policies. If we’re going to poach jobs, at least poach them from a great distance.
Tom Waters, perhaps the busiest person in Independence, wears yet another new hat as of July 1. He’ll be chairman of the board of the Independence Economic Development Council for two years, succeeding Fort Osage School District Superintendent Jason Snodgrass. Waters has filled similar roles with the Independence Chamber of Commerce and headed its Santa-Cali-Gon Committee. He’s been a driving force the citywide cleanup, this year set for June 1 and, it is hoped, a second one in the fall. Oh, and he owns Corporate CopyPrint on the Square. … A Verizon retailer, Round Room LLC, has opened a TCC store at 3901 Bolger Road in Independence. As part of the grand opening, it donated $3,000 to three nonprofits – $2,000 to Debate-Kansas City and $500 each to BikeWalkKC and the KC Pet Project. … The state of Missouri says unemployment statewide was just 3.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, in April. That’s the same as in March and the same as in April 2018. Out of a civilian labor force of 3.05 million, just 101,000 were looking for work. Local breakdowns for April aren’t out yet, but March gives us a good snapshot. In the Kansas City area (both sides of the state line) nearly 1.1 million people had work and just 38,000 were looking. That’s a jobless rate of 3.4 percent.
Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s on Twitter as well, at @FoxEJC.