The Eco-devo Border War
Posted on August 29, 2016
Kansas and Missouri have spent tens of millions in tax incentives moving companies a few miles back and forth across the border in Greater Kansas City. The net result is nearly a wash: substantially nothing was gained by anyone.
Except by the subsidized businesses, of course. Public policy is being used to transfer income from citizens to owners of capital. Tax incentives are regressive, and don’t let any snake-oil-selling right-wing economist (Brownback’s client Arthur Laffer comes to mind) tell you otherwise.
Kansas state government has been the worst aggressor. In 2014 Missouri passed a law providing for a ceasefire if Kansas agreed. Governor Brownback (Mr. maximum regressive himself) ignored it for a while. This year he proposed some changes in the law at the last minute, impossible for Missouri to meet in time, then shed crocodile tears when the deadline ran out.
You should ask your legislator to support a ceasefire.
Individual cities can also do their part. Each city should pass a law pledging not to offer tax incentives to a firm moving in from another city that has a similar law.
They can also enter into no-raiding agreements, but a unilateral self-enforcing no-raiding compact is better.