December 9, 2012

Soon-To-Be Kansan Company Gets $5 Million to Move A Half Mile

Earlier this year I told you the story of Teva Neuroscience, which announced that it would be moving fewer than 4 miles from Missouri to Kansas for what appears will be a tax incentive package worth tens of millions of dollars.

Well, meet the “half-mile move.” According to the Kansas City Star, SelectQuote Senior Insurance Services is poised to move just a couple blocks to its northwest, thanks in no small part to a multi-million dollar tax incentive package from the state of Kansas.

The latest round in the metropolitan economic border war is going for short yardage, with an insurance marketing company receiving $5 million in incentives to skip just a mile from Kansas City to Leawood.

SelectQuote Senior Insurance Services at 9200 Ward Parkway is negotiating for space at 89th Street and State Line in Leawood to consolidate its local call center operations. The Ward Parkway office is about a mile from the planned new location.

Kansas economic development officials praised the announcement, but a local civic leader who is spearheading opposition criticized it as more of the same business poaching that’s cost both states tens of millions of dollars in lost tax revenues without helping the overall metro economy.

“This is just a continuation of a policy that’s damaging taxpayers who have to pay for those who aren’t paying,” said Bill Hall, president of the Hall Family Foundation.

“It’s another example of companies that are moving to take advantage of this situation. Those of us who don’t move are paying for those who do.”

The map below shows how short a move this truly is.

View Larger Map

Taxpayers are being taken for a ride, and Bill Hall is right to criticize these handouts, which now have been taken to new levels of absurdity. Stop it. Stop picking winners and losers in the tax code. Make every business a winner.

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