KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said during his speech to the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, he wants to end the economic border war between Missouri and Kansas.
Nixon proposed an immediate moratorium on using financial incentives to lure businesses from one side of the state line to the other. He said the practice does not add jobs, but only moves them around in the same region.
Two massive companies have moved from Missouri to Kansas in recent years: the AMC movie chain and health industry giant, Cerner. Both companies were given millions of dollars in financial incentives to make the moves.
But Nixon said those relocations fail to generate a meaningful return to taxpayers and weaken the region's ability to compete globally for jobs.
Nixon said there has been no agreement with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's office but said the there have been encouraging conversations between the two of them.
Nixon said instead, increased investment in education funding and standards is the best way to bring more jobs to the state of Missouri and to the region.
Last year, Brownback and Kansas legislators passed Kansas' biggest income tax cuts in the state's history in an effort to lure in more businesses and money.
Brownback has said in the past it is a slow increase but that dozens of businesses have already moved or have plans to move to the Sunflower State solely because of those business tax breaks.
Late Tuesday, Brownback cautiously agreed it is time to talk. "In Kansas, we are actively working with our mayors and civic leaders to build consensus around a process that is fair and equitable and allows both Kansas and Missouri to attract and retain business. In the past year, all the net job growth in the KC metro area has occurred on the Kansas side.