Cierpiot’s ‘border war’ bill forges ahead


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill removing tax incentives for businesses relocating to Missouri from certain counties in Kansas is advancing through the legislature. 

Proposed by Republican state Sen. Mike Cierpiot, SB 182 would remove certain tax incentives for businesses that relocate from specific counties in Kansas to Missouri and would be contingent upon similar action taken by the Sunflower State.

“We have a lot of economic development policies and incentives trying to get companies to either grow here or move here,” Cierpiot told The Missouri Times.

“In my area … we have had companies taking advantage of our and Kansas’ economic policies, moving back and forth across state lines without bringing the benefit of most companies when they come in here or grow here,” he said. “So it’s not really generating new jobs per se and what goes with that normally like buying homes and all the economic activity that accompanies that.”

The Missouri counties targeted in the bill are Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte. The Kansas counties included are Douglas, Johnson, Miami, and Wyandotte.

“The Kansas City community was very supportive of it. They see what’s happening, and it’s just silly to spend money like they’re spending,” Cierpiot, who represents part of Jackson County, said.

Cierpiot noted his bill would not remove incentives from all businesses relocating to one of the four Missouri counties. For example, a business in Illinois seeking to make the change would still be able to receive current incentives.

He also said Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s office has been in contact with Missouri’s economic development officials regarding the legislation. 

A spokeswoman for Kelly told The Missouri Times her office is “continuing to monitor the bill.”

“I’m just hopeful. I think this year we’ll actually pull it off,” Cierpiot said. “I know conversations [between the two states] are going on, and I’m confident they’re being very thorough.”

Prohibitions of these incentives existed in Missouri before but expired in August 2016. As the bill stands now, it could also expire in either August 2021 or August 2025, depending if it’s in effect.

SB 182 has been perfected in the Senate and is currently in the House Economic Development Committee.