Business border battle: Another company switching sides - KCTV5

Business border battle: Another company switching sides

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Another company is switching sides when it comes to the state line.

This time, insurance company The Miller Group is moving from Kansas City to Overland Park.

The company's move from their current south Kansas City office to Overland Park is one of several recent state-to-state switcheroos.

The moves have headed in both directions, but the bottom line is not as dramatic as it could be farther in-state.

It is unknown, if any, what sort of incentive prompted The Miller Group to select their new Kansas location at College Boulevard and Lamar Avenue for a September expansion.

"You can't attribute business location just to one factor, the level of taxes. You cannot do that," said Steve Bell, a professor of economics at Park University. "Business regulations would be another factor from state to state."

Tax incentive battles have heated up in recent years. They include state business and income taxes, as well as local and county property tax abatements and moratoriums.

The Miller Group's chief executive officer said the employee benefit firm of 60 people was outgrowing their Missouri space and plans to add 80 jobs over five years in their new, leased Kansas space.

Still, it is hard to say who wins or by how much, especially in a bi-state metro where the spillover spending impact isn't something on which either state can count.

"To say that just because you relocate to Kansas that you can count on this spillover effect of an upsurge of spending and of sales tax revenue from newly relocated families is probably not true in a setting where someone is within commuter distance of a business from across the state line," Bell said.

When it comes to attracting a business from outside either state, he worries the inter-state tax battles could do more harm than good.

Bell said he would like to see more bi-state coalitions that focus on regional success rather than a battle between neighbors.

The battle between Kansas and Missouri over businesses has been going on for years.

Some of the most notable transitions include Freightquote.com moving their 1,000 employees from Lenexa to south Kansas City.

Another includes J.P. Morgan moving to Overland Park to Kansas City with 900 employees in tow and AMC packing up 450 workers and heading to Leawood.

Adding in some of the smaller moves like General Electric, Teva Neuroscience and AB May the scorecard shows Kansas has drawn more than 2,100 employees from Missouri.

The Show Me State has only lured just more than 1,800.

It is a difference of about 300 workers, and that is not including the number of jobs companies commit to creating when they cross the border.

Earlier this month, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was at the AMC headquarters opening.

He said during that event he would be open to "negotiating something" with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon over the border war.

At this time, there has been no announcement of anything official set up.

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